NQC 2009: Day 2
I had a late night last night, so I didn’t have the chance to write a summary of the Tuesday night mainstage performances last night or this morning. Doors opened for the Gaither Homecing sing-along showcase an hour before the program commenced, so to get a good seat, I waited in line, and I’m actually typing this from the front row of the showcase. About 75 chairs, a piano, two guitars, and a five-piece brass section (the Down Home Brass from Michigan) are awaiting the program to commence in about fifty minutes. Several thousand people are already in the room.
Last night, the program kicked off with several family groups. I was setting up a video for the Crist Family’s community site (www.cristconnect.com)–more on that later–so I missed the first several groups.
The Chuck Wagon Gang turned in a pleasant set. They started with “Gloryland Way” before singing a new song, the title track from their current project, “Keep Travelin’ On.” Stan, their lead singer, led an a capella rendition of “Oh Come Angel Band.” Alto Penny Greene took the lead on “I’m Gonna See Heaven.”
The Crist Family sang two songs, “The Rock” and “Oh Happy Day.” As David Bruce Murray commented in his post, they showed a confidence and stage presence belying their relative newness on main stage and, for that matter, as a group. I took a video before their set that is too good not to share: [EDIT, 11/8/10: The link is broken and has been removed.]
Greater Vision, Legacy Five, and the Booth Brothers sang “He’d Still Been God” together. Greater Vision then took the stage with a Gerald Wolfe feature, “I Know He Heard My Prayer.” Jacob Kitson was then featured on the next three songs–“So Much God,” “Little is Much” (which received an enthusiastic standing ovation), and “I’m Too Near Home.” Jacob Kitson did a Vestal Goodman invitation on the latter song.
The Mark Trammell started their set with a song from their new Vintage Gospel project, “Leave Your Sorrows.” Mark sang a solo keyed for the bass range on “While Ages Roll.” He then hit a home run with “Loving the Lamb,” getting one of the most widespread standing ovations of the night. New tenor Joel Wood was particularly solid on that song, singing the challenging tenor part above Mark’s high lead vocal with aplomb.
The Hoppers managed to fit five songs into their set. The set started with alto Connie Hopper singing the lead on “Just a Rose Will Do.” They did two other songs from their new CD, “In the Sweet Forever” and “On the Authority.” Between the two, they did a song (featuring lead singer Dean Hopper) from North America Live, They closed with “Jerusalem,” mentioning the many requests that had already been made that week for the song. It was a rather interesting selection, since the Thursday-Saturday attendees will be sure to request it again, and they’ll have a harder time doing a different closing big ballad, say their current single, “Grace Will Always Be Greater than Sin” (which, I hear, is finally getting sent to radio), or a new song like “Something’s Happening.”
The Perrys’ set was the last I managed to catch Tuesday night. They started with “I Love to Tell,” featuring bass Tracy Stuffle , and followed it with another uptempo song, “I Know it Was the Blood.” Alto Libbi Perry Stuffle sang a perennial favorite, “The Potter Knows the Clay.” They closed with their current single, “If You Know Him,” featuring Joseph Habedank and co-written by Habedank and Rodney Griffin. The song got the biggest response of the night, and it was the Perrys’ set that I heard the most buzz afterwards.
As I conclude this post, the Down Home Brass are in the middle of a set opening the Homecoming Sing-along. They are really quite a solid ensemble, worthy of the setting. More on the showcase later.