NQC 2010, Day 3: Mainstage Highlights
Stepping into Freedom Hall for another NQC is a sensation unique in the Southern Gospel experience. At the base of the ramp that leads to a section of seats, a cool breeze strikes you in the face—remnants of the massive undertaking of providing climate control for 20,000 people. A view through the ramp shows the seats on the opposite side of Freedom Hall, also filling in preparation for the evening’s concert. And a few steps up the ramp reveals the main stage, where history is about to be made.
Highlights from Wednesday night’s NQC set included:
- Dailey and Vincent. This group exploded onto the Bluegrass scene in 2008, with their debut album leading them to a sweep of the IBMA awards (Bluegrass’s version of the Singing News Fan Awards or Dove Awards). Awards and accolades have flowed in a steady stream since, and their strong set left no question why. Bass singer Christian Davis used a good portion of what must be a four or five octave range during a comedy routine on “Daddy Sang Bass.” Then, he promptly shifted gears to deliver a thoughtful rendition of “Thanks to Calvary,” to another strong response. The last full song (other than a customized closing number) was a stunning rendition of “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” changing featured vocalists and tempos at several points.
- Gold City. Despite a timing mishap on the dramatic transposition to the final chorus, Josh Cobb’s performance of the new Gold City arrangement of his signature song, “I Stand Redeemed,” stood out as one of the evening’s best performances. A cover of a Dixie Hummingbirds song which will appear on Gold City’s upcoming mainline release was also quite strong. Unusual and worth noting: I’ve heard a number of different methods of encouraging audiences to clap, but I heard one for the first time during the Gold City set: Clap because the Bible says to. During a turnaround on “I’m Rich,” lead singer Bruce Taliaferro said, “The Bible says, ‘Clap your hands, all ye people.'”
- The Inspirations. Lead singer David Ragan showed that his acapella solo last year on “The Son Come Down” wasn’t a moment of passing audacity. He did another acapella solo this year; if memory serves me correct, it was on “That’s Why I Call it Home.” Melton Campbell took the second verse. The song was well received.
- Before the main mainstage program, four artists from the artist showcases each got to sing a song on the main stage. Hayley Patillo, daughter of songwriter David Patillo, sang “It is Well With My Soul”—to Greater Vision’s Lari Goss-produced track, I believe. It was a strong performance and received a standing ovation—a rare feat for a song offered before the main program even starts.
A twenty-two hour day precludes more detailed commentary at this point, but these were some of the standout moments.