Concert Review: Perrys (New Philadelphia, OH, 7/9/09)
I had the chance to see the Perrys on Friday in New Philadelphia.
There were two opening acts, which I missed since I had the opportunity to interview alto Libbi Perry Stuffle for an upcoming feature interview on this site.
- I Love to Tell of His Love. This is the classic quartet tune performed by the Inspirations, among others.
- I Know it Was the Blood. This was their concert opener while Look No Further was their current project.
- You Cannot Improve On the Truth.
- He Will Hide Me. This was new baritone singer Troy Peach’s first feature of the night. Troy and Joseph turned in solid performances, and the song got a standing ovation.
- Did I Mention. The song, featuring alto singer Libbi Perry Stuffle, was well received; they did an acapella encore or two (but not as many encores as seen in a couple videos circulating online).
- This Old Sinner Testifies.
- Piano Solo. Bryan Elliott turned in a great rendition, so fast that I honestly didn’t figure out the song by the time it was over. But whatever it was, it was good enough that he got a standing ovation.
- If You Knew Him. Joseph Habedank turned in a particularly solid performance on this song, a song he co-wrote with Rodney Griffin. Habedank and Griffin are both able songwriters, but perhaps they are better together than individually; this song is one of the best in either songwriter’s catalog. There was a standing ovation.
After intermission, they sang:
- Living In Canaan Now. The soundtrack kicked off a little too early, before they all had their microphones on. But once everyone was in place, it was a solid rendition of the classic song.
- The Potter Knows the Clay. This song had a multimedia presentation; there was a video of potters shaping pottery on the screens. My family particularly liked this, but did mention to me that many audience members were watching the screens instead of the Perrys during the song.
- Old Fashioned Altar. This song has a Cajun feel to it; bass singer Tracy Stuffle introduced it by discussing how much Troy Peach loved crawfish. Then he introduced “Crawfish Troy” to sing the song. Knowing that I’d write about it, Troy wanted me to mention that he actually didn’t like crawfish—he doesn’t like eating something that’s looking back at him—lest the fans start bringing him bucketloads to eat.
- Calvary Answers For Me. This was the song that introduced me to the Perrys, the song that won me over as a fan. I had never heard them do it live. So I requested it, and they were gracious enough to include it in their set. It received a standing ovation.
- I Wish I Could Have Been There. They left the audience on their feet with this song, calling up the soloists who opened the concert to join them for the final encore.
Although lead singer Joseph Habedank had a sore throat, even a careful observer would not have noticed, other than the fact that he was a little cautious with his vocals for the first part of the opening song. But after that, he was so solid that a friend who (like me) listens to a wide variety of Southern Gospel groups commented to me after the concert that he thought Joseph was the best lead singer in Southern Gospel right now.
All in all, a solid performance, one that won the audience over to the new lineup.