Concert Review: Live at Shadow Mountain (Greater Vision)

Last Sunday, Greater Vision performed a concert at Dr. David Jeremiah’s Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego, California. The church is equipped with a top-notch video crew; they recorded the service to be streamed live and later archived on Shadow Mountain’s website. The live streaming did not work for many or all users, but the concert was posted online yesterday, here. [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]

The video quality is probably the highest I’ve seen in any online stream. I’ll post my thoughts on the concert; since this is a concert that all of us (at any rate, all who have high-speed connections) can watch together, perhaps we can have a group discussion in the comments.

Song list:

  • You Were Faithful Yesterday – featuring Jacob Kitson. The mix was a little tenor-heavy. When I first heard the song on their new CD, I never thought of it as a concert opener, but it works well.
  • Paid in Full Through Jesus, Amen – a good choice for an up-tempo number to kick the concert into high gear.
  • God Will Pass By – their current radio single, featuring Gerald Wolfe.
  • Tell Me the Story of Jesus – from their Hymns of the Ages project; since much of the audience may have been unfamiliar with Greater Vision’s new numbers and even the convention songs, the inclusion of several hymns was a wise choice for the venue.
  • Little is Much – the story Wolfe tells of Jacob singing the song is Greater Vision’s new audition-in-the-stairwell moment. Granted, the setting isn’t quite as exotic as the location of former tenor Jason Waldroup’s audition, but Kitson’s rendition of the song and Wolfe’s abilities as a storyteller more than compensate.
  • Better Hurry Up – this was introduced as a classic convention song, which I thought was interesting, since I had thought the Happy Goodmans introduced it in 1979. But no matter how much one knows, there’s always something to learn; this prompted me to flip through some projects I have and I noticed a Blue Ridge Quartet rendition of the song in 1963 (with George Younce on the bass part, incidentally).
  • A Mighty Fortress – this got the first standing ovation of the night (that the cameras picked up).
  • He is Loved – Jacob Kitson’s live rendition had a pathos that the studio version didn’t quite capture. While this song might not have stood out as a highlight on the CD, it works well live.
  • The Source of My Song – also featuring Jacob Kitson. I don’t know if the number of times he was featured was random or intentional, and if intentional, whether it was to to introduce him or since he’s young and his voice can handle a greater share of the load.
  • O Holy Night – the second standing ovation of the night. A masterful rendition by Gerald Wolfe, as always.
  • I Wanna Know that You Know – the sole uptempo song from Greater Vision’s new CD.
  • It Pays to Pray – somewhat like “He is Loved” (and slightly ironic, since the songs seem to share some common musical motifs), this song is more of a standout live than on CD. It was introduced powerfully by Rodney Griffin—but I won’t give any spoilers; watch it for yourself!
  • Altar Call
  • You’re Not Forsaken – the big ballad on Greater Vision’s new CD. Greater Vision’s third standing ovation of the night.

Overall thoughts: Just as in the short NQC sets, in this more extended setting Jacob Kitson gave abundant proof that he is Greater Vision caliber. He has a great stage presence, too—he has a winning smile, and remembers to use it often.

The video quality is top-notch, and in fact surpasses the quality of several of Greater Vision’s other videos, including their 2007 Chicago Live release. If they can arrange for permission to use the footage, they would be hard-pressed to find a better quality DVD to introduce Jacob Kitson and showcase songs from Not Alone.


For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

16 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. I, too, thought the quality was outstanding! And I liked that they did so many songs from their brand new album. I really like the song “You Were Faithful Yesterday”, but I would prefer it somewhere other than the opening. I think “I Want to Know That You Know” would be a GREAT opener…. “audience, let’s just get this straight right up front…do you know Jesus???” Gerald did the best I’ve ever seen him on “God Will Pass By,” my favorite song. He gets better every time I see him sing it (I didn’t think that was possible). I loved Rodney’s re-telling of his Father-in-law’s conversion and the song, It Pays to Pray. Of course, “Just Pray” is one of my all-time favorites, and I like the way Rodney incorporated some of it into “It Pays to Pray.” This is one of the few concerts that I’ve seen that GV did not sing “My Name Is Lazarus,” but with so many other great songs on the program, I didn’t really miss it. This is an EXCELLENT concert and I hope the church keeps it accessible for a long time because this will be one that I’ll want to watch over and over!

  2. That was a great way to start out a morning! I listened while printing off reports this morning at work. It was great – solid GV sound.

    Is “Source of My Song” on the new CD? If so, then IMO I wouldn’t call “I Wanna Know” the only uptempo song. Of course that’s a relative thing.

  3. Yes, it is on the new CD, but I think of “Source of My Song” as a mid-tempo song.

  4. “Source of My Song” has a tempo around 96-98.

    “I Wanna Know That You Know” has a tempo around 118-120.

    Now I know this is partly personal opinion, but I tend to use “mid-tempo” for songs up to around 104 or 108.

  5. Ah, I see!

    Personally, then, I prefer mid-tempo. 🙂

    I was thinkin’ when I read the review, “So they are all slow songs except for one? ……..”

  6. Cross-post.

  7. So…was comment #5 not tied to comment #4 then?

    I think I would have read your comment and assumed it wasn’t a cross-post if you hadn’t told me.

  8. Yes, I was referencing #3, although it looked like #4.

    And you’re right, I guess, about tempo properly referring to speed, but I hadn’t thought about it that way. I think in terms of rhythm. I am going to be paying attention to the relation there for a while now when I listen to music!

  9. I cannot get the video to work it says that the protocol (mms) is not associated with any program. Any help would be appreciated.

  10. I don’t know if this is helpful or it lets you select a program, but my computer used Windows Media Player to play it.

    I browsed for it myself and found something different which wouldn’t play for me anyway, but Daniel’s link here worked OK.

  11. I have liked GV in the past but I thought this concert was a bit slow and boring. Most of the “funnies” Gerald did were the same as at NQC. He is starting to get like George Younce in that he tells the same things over and over. Gerald needs to loosen up a bit and be a little more “off the cuff” and not so much canned.

  12. Well…the concerts were only a week or two apart. 🙂

  13. Shadow Mountain? Wait a minute…is that the same Shadow Mountain where the Cats recorded all those live versions of the songs from High and Lifted Up?

    • I think the lighting was quite better this time!

      • But it was the same church though? (And yeah, the lighting on the Cats taping did leave something to be desired—terrific stuff though. Gospel gold.)

      • Perhaps remodeled, but same pastor / organization, I believe.