NQC: Day 2, Tuesday
I got to Freedom Hall early on Tuesday to cover the Talley Trio’s soundcheck for TalleyTree-o. (I will be posting a video or two there.)
After the soundcheck, I finally found an Internet connection and was able to upload Monday’s coverage. But what made things even better was that the room was next to the Artist Spotlight showcases. After a couple of sets (the Glovers’ specifically sticks out in my mind), Cross 4 Crowns came on stage. After giving their CD a 5-star rating, and there being a bit of controversy in the comments over whether they could replicate that sound in a live setting, I had been particularly hoping to hear them live. Even though I couldn’t leave my computer unattended and run over as I was uploading a video clip, I listened closely. They did a good job; I particularly noticed that the lead singer (whose name escapes me right now) and Dallas Rogers were singing right at the center of the pitch. (At least, to the best I can hear. I can’t hear if a pitch is 1% or 2% off, but if someone is 10% off, I can hear that.) The bass singer had a weak note or two towards the beginning of the first song, “I’m Going There,” but finished strong (hitting a low F-sharp, I think, with confidence.) I talked with a friend afterwards who said Cross 4 Crown’s bass singer, Justin Terry, mentioned he was really struggling with allergies this week. Cross 4 Crowns only had two songs; they closed their set with an acapella rendition of “God Bless America” that was well excecuted and got prolonged applause. Since I wasn’t in the room, I didn’t see whether it was a standing ovation, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was.
I caught a couple of other sets (including Voices Won) from the media room before I dove into the vendor’s hall for a while, lining up interviews and other things that should help make the next few months even more interesting on this site. I’ve been amazed by how many of you (artists and fans alike) have recognized me, some from seeing my photo (here) and some once I mention my name. Thanks for all the encouragement; seeing real faces of readers every now and then keeps me going even on the (very rare!) days I don’t feel like making a post.
While Tuesday will probably be the day I spent the most time in the vendors’ hall this week, I did catch several mainstage sets. I caught most of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver’s set while I was finding a seat; by the time I was paying attention, they were singing their recent #1 hit on the Singing News charts, “Help Is On the Way.” After an uptempo rendition of “One of These Days,” they sang their current single, “Eternity Has Two.” The lyric in particular grabbed my attention when I reviewed their project a couple of weeks ago, and the song is a great choice for radio. They closed with an acapella rendition of a convention song, “He Made it All Right.”
They Talley Trio took the stage with two songs from their latest CD, “God is Great, Good, and Merciful” and “Winds of This World” (featuring Lauren). Lauren was then featured on “The Broken Ones”; then Debra and Lauren sang “The Healer.” The set closed with a rendition of “Searchin'”; Greater Vision joined them on the song. More extensive coverage can be found on Talley Tree-o.com.
Greater Vision started their set with “We Are So Blessed” and “It Means Just what it Says.” Then Gerald Wolfe took a minute to introduce Jacob Kitson, in his first mainstage appearance with Greater Vision (and, Wolfe indicated, his first mainstage appearance altogether). When Kitson sang “Little is Much,” Freedom Hall came unglued. Even the people in the balconies joined the virtually unanimous standing ovation. (We spent some time discussing NQC standing ovations in Monday’s post. Continuing that discussion, it seems that even when everyone on the floor stands up, virtually nobody in the balconies ever seems to stand.)
Greater Vision then sang “I Want to Know that You Know,” a song from their new CD (Not Alone), before bringing Karen Peck and New River on stage to sing “My Name is Lazarus” together. Greater Vision seemed to want to share solos with New River; however, it seemed as though there was no set plan of who would sing and when. Jacob Kitson went over and talked with Karen Peck; it looked like he was perhaps offering her the solo, but ultimately Devin McGlamery sang Kitson’s verse. This got Greater Vision a second enthusiastic standing ovation.
Karen Peck & New River’s set started with “Hold Me While I Cry.” Their second song, “Hey,” had a fun video with artists and fans waving at the audience and saying “Hey” each time the word came up in the song. After singing “Whispered Prayers,” Karen Peck sang an acapella rendition of “Amazing Grace.” They closed their set with “Four Days Late.” The audience was so moved that there was applause after each verse, and, of course, a standing ovation at the end.
Then the Talley Trio and Greater Vision joined Karen Peck and New River on stage for a rousing rendition of “We Shall Wear a Robe and Crown.” My favorite part of the song was watching the security guard in my section, a black lady whom I mistakenly assumed wouldn’t care for Southern Gospel, getting into the song. By the end, I think she even jumped a little as she called out, “Glory!” (Truth be told, I kinda felt like doing the same myself at the end of the song, but I was a little too reserved to actually do it.)
I stopped by the Talley Trio booth afterwards to tape some videos and set plans for my coverage of the remainder of the week on TalleyTree-o.com. One plan worth mentioning here: If you’ve been blessed by one of their songs, stop by the booth Friday at 6 P.M. to share your story; I’ll be taking video clips of these stories to post on their site.
Here is one:
I was in the vendors’ hall for most of the rest of the night, and had great conversations with numerous friends and artists. I did stop in sight of the main hall to catch some impressive soprano singing during the Pfeifers’ set and Brian Free & Assurance’s renditions of “Sheltered in the Arms of God” and “Jesus Will Pick You Up.”
Tuesday Highlights: Two things stand out. The first was seeing Jacob Kitson blow the roof off Freedom Hall, a couple of times but particularly on “Little is Much.” The second was waiting in line at Greater Vision’s booth to talk to Dianne Wilkinson. Talking to her was great, but the highlight was waiting in line since I was behind Debbie Bennett. Hearing Dianne and Debbie reminiscing about “Roger Darlin'” for five or ten minutes was one of those priceless moments that no live audio feed or video clip of Main Stage can capture—the kind of thing that makes it worth the trip to be at NQC in person.