Sunday, March 23, 2014

David Phelps in Concert

Last night, my mother and I had the pleasure of going out to see opera, contemporary, and Gospel singer David Phelps in concert here in Freeport, IL. From what I am told, it was a surprise development. We seldom get singers and artists of his caliber here. The largest auditorium in Freeport is the local Masonic Temple, although Rockford—40 miles east—does have one church that seats 5,000 people. There is also a small arena called the MetroCentre, seating about 10K. What it would take to secure the venue is a good question. So we're a pretty small venue. As the Lord arranged it, some other performer cancelled out, and it left the opening for David. I am so glad.

Mom—91 in June—seldom gets out and is very tired at night, so the fact she was able to go is wonderful, thank God! She enjoyed every moment of it, and so did I. The concert was top notch.

David of course sang—his 3-octave plus voice in fine form—and played piano and harmonium. His excellent 7-piece backing band switched instruments and shared the spotlight through the evening. They played flawlessly, and in addition to the usual keys, guitars and drums, you had mandolin, horns, dobro, violin and harmonica thrown in there. For a moment when I heard the harmonica, it sounded like Supertramp. Great stuff.

David began the show with some pretty up-tempo rockers, so I wasn't sure what Mom would think—rock isn't her style of course. But then he began singing some of the great songs he's done with the Gaither Vocal Band, and "The Lord's Prayer," where his opera training shone forth. As hard as it is for Mom to stand, David got three standing ovations out of her. It was so sweet.

At points, David and the band went quiet, and he acted as more of a worship leader, asking the audience to sing "How Great Thou Art" and some other hymns. He then did his own version of Don Francisco's 70s hit, "He's Alive," which got another standing ovation. The volume level was just right. Loud enough to drown out incessant yakkers in the audience, yet your ears didn't ring.

Another point that blessed me was that he shared what Christ meant to him, and that the free offer of forgiveness, mercy and grace is open to those who will believe, repent, and trust in the Lord and His finished work on the cross for salvation. He shared about Feed the Children, which is a ministry to help hungry kids around the world in Jesus' name. All in all, it was a tremendous night. The Lord was glorified, and the music—incorporating every style imaginable—was outstanding.

David's vocal range is amazing. He can switch on a dime from belting out a rocker with a little rasp, to almost a pure choirboy like vocal that hits soaring highs on a more classically vocal piece. The Lord has gifted this young man tremendously. If you can book him in your town, do it. You won't regret it. He wants to come back to Freeport soon. Halellujah!

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