ORLANDO, Florida — Big Daddy Weave held their first concert performance since the death of founding member Jason Weaver and frontman Mike Weaver revealed that it “hurts so bad” being on stage following the death of his “best friend.”
Jason Weaver, better known as “Jay,” died last month from health complications exacerbated by COVID-19. He was 42. The late artist played bass guitar and sang with the Christian group. He even continued to go on the road with the band after he stopped performing.
Big Daddy Weave performed at Rock the Universe on Saturday, and midway through their set, Mike Weaver opened up about how scared he was to hit the stage following his brother’s death.
“I’ve been really scared about this show, actually,” he said. “I just need to kind of rip the Band-Aid off. This is the first show that we have played this year, but the first show, specifically, since my brother, Jay, who played bass with us for 23 years, went to Heaven to be with Jesus. He had this really long health battle, and we just saw Jesus carry him through so much.”
Jay Weaver had diabetes for 20 years, and the illness severely weakened his body’s immune system and ability to stave off infection, which resulted in the amputation of both of his feet. He remained in the band for five years following the amputations, and the prayers of their many supporters carried him for years.
“I’ll tell you, man, there is such a power when the church comes together, and we’re not against each other but we’re for the Kingdom,” Mike Weaver told the crowd listening to him speak from the stage. “Over the last years now, I’m telling you, the Lord has just seen us through so many things. For Jay, it was such an uphill battle.
“The story of Jay’s life continues to just blow us away, how Jesus had used him in the lives of people. And it wasn’t by some Olympic medalist or something; it was through him just getting through every day and in the midst of a great amount of pain.”
Although not evident in his voice as he worshiped Jesus in song throughout the night, Mike Weaver was noticeably shaken.
“God was just shining through him so bright. It’s pretty incredible. He was my best friend on this planet. He and my wife, Candace, they’re my best friends. It doesn’t seem real that he’s not here right now. When it dawns on me that it is, it hurts so bad,” the grieving brother revealed. “But in the midst of it, I gotta tell you, when I think about the fact that he’s not hurting anymore, I feel like I can take that pain for a little while.
“He really has carried my whole family,” the singer said.
Mike Weaver then shared a story about his brother that impacted him greatly. Last year, during a show in South Carolina, Jay’s testimony greatly impacted a former pastor who had walked away from the faith. During this time, Jay’s feet had already been amputated, he couldn’t see out of one eye, he was on dialysis, and he had lost some of his fingers.
“He was still every day trusting in healer: Jesus,” Mike Weaver continued. “I’m telling you, for about seven years straight, we saw God pour out and just do the miraculous right in front of our eyes. Before and after Jay was in a wheelchair, we saw him pray for people and the power of God just move. He just knew where his help came from, and he knew who Jesus is.”
Jay Weaver had a routine where at every venue before a show, he would lay hands and pray over every seat individually. According to his brother, if Jay couldn’t get to it in his chair. He would call for one of his kids to go in and touch every seat “to make sure every seat had been prayed for.”
The musician would ask Jesus to move in the life of the person who sat in each seat.
“We go into our set that night and we’re worshiping the Lord. And Jay is over there, I mean, missing fingers, missing feet, in so much pain, but you’d never know it. He’s just worshiping God with these messed-up hands; he’s just lost in it. And I watched it wreck the guy on the front,” Mike Weaver continued, speaking of the pastor on the front row that he met before the show during a Q&A.
After the show, the man who was emotional the entire concert was waiting for the band in their dressing room. When he saw Jay, he began yelling with curses asking why he wasn’t upset with God about his health issues at the time.
“Jay doesn’t miss a beat. He wheels around in his chair to face the guy,” Mike Weaver recalled. “He goes, ‘I get it. I get it being frustrated. I get it, not understanding. I get it, kind of wanting to be angry. … When I tried to get out of bed this morning and everything hurt, I started to get angry until I realized Jesus is the only one who can get me through this day. He carries me through every day.’”
Weaver said the man began weeping and fell to his knees. Jay laid hands on the man’s head and prayed for him.
“The guy is just sobbing and squeaks out, ‘I want Jesus to heal you so bad.’ And Jay goes, ‘me too,'” Weaver illustrated.
Overcome with emotion, Mike Weaver declared: “I’m telling you, on January 2, Jay got all new everything!”
“I thought we had more time with him and I didn’t see how we could come and do this tonight. Except for that, I knew if Jay was here, this is where he would be,” Weaver concluded. “Somehow, in my heart, I hear him making commentary on all this that has happened here. The morning of his funeral, when I woke up at three o’clock in the morning, and I didn’t want to open the casket, I didn’t want to see him, I was afraid to see his body. But when they did, and I looked at him and it didn’t even look like him, because he’s not there. He wasn’t there.
“He is with Jesus right now. He is in Heaven right now. And I just need to tell you tonight, there is only one way to get to Heaven, and that is through the Son of God.
“What Jesus has done for us, receiving what it is that He has done for us, if you don’t know Him, all you have to do is say this: ‘God, I want to receive what you’ve done for me. I confess I’m a sinner, that I’ve messed up, that I’ve blown it. But I want to turn away from my ways, and I want to turn to your ways. I want to receive what you’ve done for me. Jesus, come and live inside of me. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Make me ready for Heaven.’ Because we don’t know when that day is coming.”
Jay was preceded in death by his parents.
Mike Weaver closed by saying, “Even though I’m missing him [Jay], I’m telling you, he lived out an example that I’m still learning from and being challenged by every single day. This life is not the end!”