Can't wait another day to post about our night with Glory Revealed in Lancaster, Ohio. Since I traveled with B to Akron ... we tacked on another two-hours to the drive to see the tour near Columbus.
May I be honest?? This has been a really, really, (did I say really?) hard year as far as work and ministry goes. To be able to get out of town and attend an event that we were only responsible to show up for -- no work involved other than reading the map and finding a good parking spot. We were able to sit in the second row ... just feet away from the stage.
We were also surprised to discover that the evening was being recorded for a future CCN satellite-feed to churches across the country and a tour DVD. (It felt like our experience with David Letterman a couple of years ago).
All the logistical hoopla aside .... to be able to just allow the richness of the music and the warmth of the harmonies and the truth-speak of the Scripture encased in lyrics to wash over us was truly a cup of cold water for me. I felt like those close-up time lapsed video shots of a flower in bloom -- just opening up from exhaustion and discouragement. Resurrection comes to mind again.
I know I've said it before, but you gotta get this album! It's fresh and excellent and rich and full of truth.
As far as critique of the evening, B and I were both enthralled with Hyper Static Union's Shawn Lewis (who wrote a lot of the music on the project). If there is a way for a banjo to sound groovy, he's got it down. We also became huge fans of previously unknown to us Trevor Morgan. He sings on the track #1 of the album, Zephaniah 3:17 and played bass almost every song of the concert. (just for a visual aid -- he looks like the perfect combination of Tom Hanks and Scott Gravelding!)
We also can't believe we had never heard anything from Candi Pearson Shelton. The woman's got pipes! She added beautiful descant layers to many of the songs. She solos the title track, Glory Revealed. She also provided one of a couple of musical finales to the concert with Mighty to Save. (amazing song. shhhhh, don't let anyone know it's from Hillsong and we might be able to add it to our playlist at church)
As for a couple of thumbs downs, we gotta be honest, Brian Littrell drove us crazy. We may be biased 'cuz we never fell for the boyband stuff in the 90's and that's all we could think of when we watched him. He seems to have some kind of stage onset of A.D.D. and seemed to just pull random comments out of the air when he was supposed to be singing. His voice is OK and he adds a kind of unexpected surprise to this cast of characters, but mostly he just seems to fit the bill of 'one of these things is not like the other'. Having said that, though, I did enjoy the two songs he sang from his solo album, Welcome Home.
I also have to say that I am mega-impressed with the producer of this project, David Nasser. Appearantly, he is a good friend of Mac Powell's and is the originator of the concept for a 'bluegrass - ish' style. His main emphasis, however, is on the power of the Word and how dehydrated we are as Christians when it comes to the Living Water. I feel that he totally hits the bulls-eye with this project. HOWEVER, both B and I were turned off by his speaking approach during the intermission. Out of this amazing organic, musically elegant project his speaking style made me feel like I was back in highschool listening to a canned youth talk. His point was powerful and timely, but his methods felt contrived and demeaning. It was hard not to be part of the post-event evaluation team... I so much wanted to let him know how frustrated we were by his talk.
Oh, and one more thing -- two actually.
I know I only see him in one light -- on stage, beneath the lights, backed by amazing musicians. But I walked away from this event feeling like we were buddies. Maybe it was the second row seat and the fact that I'm pretty sure he looked me straight in the eye a couple of times (i know, i know, i sound like a jr. high crazed fan...but hear me out) B and I were both impressed with the subtle, but very strong, leadership he demonstrated. Even though the event was supposed to feel organic and somewhat unrehearsed, it was very clear who the leader was on that stage. (it's a good thing, too, or i'm afraid it might have turned into the Brian Littrell variety hour) He's also just got a darn great voice.
alright, enough said already. even though i still didn't say how MUCH i love Shane & Shane. the guys just sing from their toes and exude joy all over the place. i also am pretty certain if it were zeph317 or burningalive writing this review of the evening they would have had much more to say about all the hardware on the stage...it's just out of my realm! i've pre-ordered the DVD so we'll have a premiere party when it comes out, ok?!?
i'll stop now, though. i can't wait for heaven. i know we're not supposed to think of it as an eternal hymn sing in the sky, but after a night like the one we spent with Glory Revealed a few millenia like that would be just fine with me!