Concert Review: Perrys (3/11/10, Wilmot, OH)
Update (3/14/10): We’ve added a concert gallery, below!
Winter is coming to an end in Ohio, and Southern Gospel groups are starting to venture back north. This Perrys concert would have been my second concert of the year; however, being snowed out from a Legacy Five concert in February makes this first.
- I Love to Tell
- I Know it Was the Blood
- Come and Get Me
- You Cannot Improve on the Truth (lead singer Joseph Habedank)
- Prior to a Prayer (baritone Troy Peach, alto Libbi Perry Stuffle)
- This Old Sinner Testifies (bass Tracy Stuffle)
- Group introductions
- Just Over in the Gloryland (piano solo, Bryan Elliott) (Yes, Bryan, I did figure out which song it was this time!)
- The Chainsaw
- I Wouldn’t Take Nothin’ For My Journey Now (Joseph)
- If You Knew Him (Joseph)
- Jesus Opened up the Way (after which Tracy explained that they were singing the shape notes!)
- Old Fashioned Altar (Troy, Libbi)
- Did I Mention (Libbi) – with an a capella encore. It’s not a Perrys concert without an a capella encore; though other groups do it occasionally, it’s a consistent trademark of their sound.
- Almost Morning (Joseph)
- I Wish I Could Have Been There (Joseph)
It was a dinner concert, and that probably played into the audience not being prone to stand. The only two songs that received standing ovations were “If You Knew Him” and “I Wish I Could Have Been There,” the songs that wrapped up the first and second halves of the program.
Troy is holding down the baritone part with more confidence than a year ago; he was up in the mix noticeably, to the point that the Perrys had a more four-distinct-voices full sound than the tighter harmonies I’ve heard before. Every group needs a cheerleader (whether or not they have one), and Troy ably holds down the part well for the group. His stage presence, always smiling or cheering on the featured group member, adds greatly to the group’s stage presence.
Most of the program was similar to what I’ve heard the last few times I’ve heard the group. There were a couple of notable differences, though; for one, Tracy Stuffle did less talking, starting the set with six songs back to back. Also, during the little comedy piece Tracy and pianist Bryan Elliott do at the end, Bryan has typically only sung two short lines; this time, he carried the bass part through the end of the encore, with an impressively resonant slide down to the bottom of the scale.
One other highlight: The last few times I’ve seen the Perrys, they have sung “Prior to a Prayer”; this time, however, it was featured a little more, delivered in such a way that connected with the audience more than any other song except possibly “If You Knew Him.” If they have one more slot for a single left from Almost Morning, audience reaction suggests this would be the best choice.
After the concert, it was a pleasure to meet a reader of this site, Cheryl / Carolina Fan. She had driven all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the concert, and was going to drive back that night.