Becky & I went to the Songs & Stories Tour in North Olmsted Ohio (south of Cleveland). Playing was Steven Curtis Chapman, Andrew Peterson and Josh Wilson. I have been to a fair number of concerts, and right now I can't think of a better one. Randall Goodgame in our church was awesome. Eric Peters has been outstanding. Some duet around 1990 was hitting some incredible harmonies, "Phil & John" as openers for Phil Keaggy made an incredible night.
SCC has a way with a crowd. I am probably close to having seen him play ten times and he has always connected. I've seen him backstage and he has always been the same guy. He lets you know him, and like him. There was a brief intermission and he came in and played "Cinderella" and "Heaven". Heartbreaking, tearjerkers that turns the crowd into a mumbling mess. I'm sure some shows are easier than others but he said "I can play these songs because I know someday I will dance with my princess in heaven. I trust in a God who loves us. It is either all true, or it's all a lie." Profound.
I was vaguely familiar with Josh Wilson's work, primarily through what gets played on the radio. "I Refuse" has a message that resonates with me. It was the first time I caught his instrumental of Amazing Grace. Very cool. He loves playing and singing, and if I'm ever stuck in a security lockdown I want him there.
Andrew Peterson, AP. It is my duty to fully disclose that I am familiar with his music. Similar to how Winnie the Pooh is familiar with honey; I eat it up. I eat it all up and want more. For the primary show he played "Many Roads", "Dancing in the Minefield", "Planting Trees" and tested out a new one which I managed to record. I now know my camera SUCKS for audio. It was a song to his oldest son as he finds his own way, to remember the ancient roads.
The show seemed over and all in all it was a great show. There was much sharing about marriage, life, and family; 3 things I'm fond of so that worked out. We saw some friends from Grove City up front so we starting wandering up to say "hi, have a safe trip home" and noted that James caught Ben Shive and his wife, Julie, caught AP. So we all caught AP; there was good chatter on background, and songs, Becky quizzed him about books (more chatter) and I gave a gentle request for an afterglow. He pounced on the opportunity like a kitten on string.
It ended being about 10 people in a few rows while AP took requests from his perch on a folding chair. The songs ended up being (I had the feeling it would have been awkward to record them):
All You'll Ever Need, Lay Me Down, Little Boy Heart, In the Night My Hope Lives On, Nothing to Say, and Fool With a Fancy Guitar.
"Fool With a Fancy Guitar" is my current #1 song, so I was glad to catch it. I have a twisted idea of working it onto ukulele because that's just funny to me.
I could've sat there all night but 45 minutes was enough, I still had to mumble through work the next day.
Something pours out of his music that I just lap up. His songs contain wonderful word-pictures that often point to a specific story (Little Boy Heart - Narnia) or a deeper truth (Lay Me Down) and it ends up being layered and hitting you a new way with each listen.
Thank you again Andrew for your music and your willingness to put it out there, even for an audience of 10. It was a great experience and put that evening over the top (better than a Sly Stallone movie).