NQC 2011, Friday Night
Friday Night: Tonight was much better than last night, but it was not without its moments of mediocrity. Though those moments were more ephemeral than some nights where average to well below average singing, and stacked tracks abounded galore. Tonight had a better feel, and the sound was a little better than all previous nights.
Kingdom Heirs: The Kingdom Heirs had a managleble set highlighted by “No Bones About It” and the closing number. The ones in between were forgettable.
- In The Gloryland Way- I did not catch much of this one as I was attempting to get a seat. What I did hear sounded a little off to my ear.
- Jesus Showed Up- Once again this one sounded a little off, maybe it was the sound? I can not say for sure.
- No Bones About It- This was the highlight of the set for me personally. Jeff Chapman is alot like Burman Porter in the respect that he can just flat out bring it at the low end, this song really showcased that aspect.
- What We Needed- They have run this one into the ground at least to me. It is a terrific lyric, but I believe I have heard it to many times.
- We Will Stand Our Ground- This big ballad deserved a tremendous ovation and it surely got one. As I said last night Arthur Rice just honestly sounds better when he is not forcing notes, and just stands flatfooted and sings like he did on this one last night.
The Collingsworth Family: The C family brought their A game this week and they never let up. They seem to have this wall of sound that is impregnable I can honestly say I don’t really hear a weak link in the group. They once again had a extremely impressive set of songs highlighted by “Resurrection Morn.”
- I Know- Never truly got into this song much. Phil Jr. once again turned in a very solid vocal.
- The Place I’m Longing To Go- This song was a little draggy, but I thoroughly enjoyed it overall. The A Capella ending was a exceptionally elegant touch. The crowd truly seemed to enjoy this one.
- Resurrection Morn- This is where that wall of sound I was talking about comes into play. On this song, you hear six voices woven together seamlessly for some truly beautiful sounds to my ear. The song itself was quite stirring, and set the mood for Kims piano solo just afterwards.
- Hallelujah Chorus- Of course everyone stood when Kim started the track on this one. Kim is an absolute force to be reckoned with on the piano bench. Her mastery of this arrangement was jaw slacked amazing! She had the entire auditorium buzzing long after she had finished the final strands of music.
Karen Peck & New River: I always look forward to seeing KPNR perform at NQC, for they always put on a terrific show. Tonight was not much different. Karen was battling allergies and laryngitis; but somehow she pulled through like a trooper, and if you was not paying much attention you would not have even noticed.
- Love With All Your Heart- This song had some lovely harmony on the chorus. The song itself was a bit repetitive and lacked a solid core. Otherwise, it sounded pretty good, and the crowd seemed to like it quite a bit.
- Hold Me While I Cry- This is where Karen always shines and even while battling sickness she did not disappoint whatsoever.
- On The Banks Of The Promiseland- Crowds everywhere love this song and for right reason. It is well written and probably even better arranged and performed by KPNR. It is a song that really clicks with you when you hear it live.
- 4 Days Late- This is one of KPNR’s biggest hits, and for good reason. It is an impressive piece of lyrical work. Once again Karen pulled through like the professional that she is.
Ivan Parker: Parker has lost a lot off his voice especially in the last 5 years or so. He had an average set of songs, none of which undoubtedly stood out to me as a wow moment.
- 24 Hours A Day- Nothing really stood out to me on this song.
- I Am Whatever You Need- I personally do not like songs written from the perspective of Jesus, which this one is. Parker did an ok job of singing it though, and the crowd seemed to like it quite a bit.
- I Choose- This is probably my favorite Ivan Parker song from his soloist discography of songs. He performed it adequately, despite some sound issues.
- When I Get Carried Away- The crowd ate this one up as Parker struggled placing tones and pitches you name it… I felt sorry for him to be honest with you, but if you just go off crowd response then it was on the best performances all night. We know that is not always an accurate measurement of just how good a song is.
Gaither Vocal Band: The Vocal band had a brilliant set, easily the best all week of any group really. It was perfectly paced and had just the mix of songs. The Vocal band undoubtedly makes all the other groups that have performed this week look like weekend garage bands. That is not really a slight at any of the other groups, that is just to say that the Gaither Vocal Band is ENORMOUSLY talented.
- On My Journey To The Sky- Wes Hampton really really impressed me on this particular song. His growth into his role with the GVB has been nothing short of a joy to watch unfold. I utterly love this guy, and the crowd at NQC did too…
- Greatly Blessed,Highly Favored- This song just went to number one on the radio charts it is a jolly good song. Once again Hampton stood out, but the blend on the chorus was second to none.
- Where No One Stands Alone- This song felt just a little out of place with the rest of the set, but David Phelp’s extraordinary solo salvaged it. His voice is just really getting better with age.
- He Is Here- I was rather Gobsmacked throughout most of this brilliant performance by Wes Hampton. I truly believe he may be the best overall singer in the group.
- Please Forgive Me- Michael English is back to full form without a doubt, and his exquisite performance of this Crabb hit last night proved that in a mighty powerful way.
- He’s Alive- David Phelps is a brilliant communicator in song. I love his interpretation of this great song. The crowd really, really got into this one especially when the chorus started up, and when David went for his big note. Brilliant stuff if I do say so myself.
Greater Vision: It would normally be a rather daunting task to follow the Gaither Vocal Band in your NQC set, but GV pulled it off with gusto. Their set was highlighted by “I Know A Man Who Can.”
- I Know He Heard My Prayer- Had not heard Greater Vision sing this in quite a while. It was an interesting way to start off their set, the crowd was not sure how to react, but they gave it a strong ovation.
- My Name Is Lazurus- I knew there was no way the die hard GV fans would let them escape NQC without doing this song. I was right.
- It Pays To Pray- I liked Rodneys interpetion of this great song on prayer. It is a well crafted lyric that the crowd truly appreciated.
- I Know A Man Who Can- This was the big highlight moment after a rather scatter gun approach to their song selection. Chris Allman is a signing machine. One commentator said that this song is quickly becoming his “Oh What A Savior,” and I tend to agree.
The Hoppers: I could not seem to get into the Hoppers set very much, Mike kept moving from drums to vocals then back to drums. It was rather distracting to me, and I felt it took away from the overall effectiveness or lack thereof of their set.
- I Will Serve Thee- I did like the harmony on this song. I assume it will be on their upcoming “Hymns” album?
- Jerusalem- This is one where Mike really hopped up and down from the drums then back to vocals, so I did not really get the full effect of the song. Kim sounded pretty good.
- Somethings Happening- This was probably the highlight of their set. I enjoy this song lyrically, and I enjoyed the Hoppers take on it musically.
- If I Can Help Somebody- This was a rare feature given to Claude. It was a nice song.
- Shouting Time- Of course they had to do this one with some persuasion from the crowd ugh…
Perry’s: The Perry’s basically had a recycled set from Monday and Wednesday nothing really stood out.
- Plan Of Salvation- Tracy did another solid job with a very hard song to sing for a bass.
- Blue Skies Coming- Joe Habedank always shines on this one, last night was no exception.
- Celebrate Me Home- Same thing as Wednesday night. It went over very well again.
- Wish I could Have Been There- They sang this for some kid in Texas’s birthday, and made a big deal out of it. Seemed kind of odd.
Gold City: GC’s set seemed to be a little mail it home style. It looked like they were just ready to get off the stage the moment they stepped onto it, but maybe that was just me.
- In My Robe Of White- Dan Keeton turned in a solid vocal on what I felt was a rather odd way to start the set.
- Peter James And John- They are really trying to push this new song as it is their first single from the upcoming project.
- When He Blessed My Soul- Tim Riley nailed some very low notes on this one. I love getting to see him sing after he retired I never thought I would get to see him live, now I have seen ten plus times in the past two years.
- It Won’t Be Long- This song has really grown on me since I first heard it at NQC last year. Danny Riley turned in a very nice vocal.
- Gods Building A Church- Once again Tim Riley hit some extremely low notes. Keeton seemed to struggle a little finding the right placements at times, but he is getting better which is a very good thing for Gold City.
Legacy Five: L5 had their best set of the week, highlighted by “Ask Me Why.” L5 is one of the most solid and consistent groups in Southern Gospel and they once again proved that this week, even though they had some sound issues.
- Destination Known- This new song featuring Scott Howard seemed to connect well with the crowd.
- Just Because Of You- Gus turned in a exceptionally nice vocal on this one, even though he was a little hoarse. That was probably from all the time spent talking with fans at the product table. The crowd certainly seemed to love the song, many probably recognized it as an old Cats tune.
- Ask Me Why- Love the story behind this song, Scott set it up nicely and sang his verses extremely well. Gus also stood out in a big way on the chorus… They tacked on an A Capella encore to the end which was quite nice, even though they were slipping a little in their pitches, but trust me I have heard much worse.
- Boundless Love- This one featured a live band of Trey Ivey on Piano, Scoot Shelnut on Bass and Mike Hopper on the drums. Unfortunately they were behind by about 30 beats throughout the song, probably had something to do with Mike counting down with the drumsticks which threw Trey off… So it slowed down what should be a fairly fast song. The vocal performance was very nice though, with Gaches shining once again.
BFA: I left during their set, I had my brother with me tonight and he was ready to go and quite frankly so was I. I did like what did get to hear though. I will just list their songs and not make comments about them since I was not there for most of the set. I got the list from Daniel Mounts website.
- Go Tell The World
- Save me a seat
- You Must Have Met Him
- Never Walk Alone
- Jesus Will Pick You Up
- Long As I Got King Jesus
Friday Night Conclusion: Overall Friday Night was probably the best night of the week in more ways than one. I did regret missing the Isaacs set I got tied up in the exhibit hall and missed the entire set, so I am sure I missed some sheer musical brilliance from that amazingly talented family. Anyway I enjoyed myself Friday and felt it was well put together though were some off moments; but every night has them some more than others unfortunately. I wish every night could go as well as Friday did overall where moments of sheer musical delight overrides the stench mediocre performers and performances… This is the last night I will be writing about NQC, as I will not be at NQC tomorrow night. I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings and at times incoherent thoughts on the greatest event in Gospel music.