I have been processing my Redeemer Concert experience in Nampa for the last couple of days; and while it may not be the best idea to begin any kind of recap with religious overtones, I need to clarify my perspective.
First, I have never been to a religious revival, and this was definitely that. Also, country music is not my favorite flavor on the music genre menu. It can be a little cloying for my taste, even though there are several county songs and a few country artists I enjoy. To be honest, three things got me to that concert: 1) the tickets were free; 2) the venue was 20 minutes away; but best of all, 3) David Archuleta was on the program.
Like 99% of those who were at the show, I am a practicing Christian. I attend church every Sunday, but our worship service (Sacrament Meeting) is rather staid and solemn, except for the intermittent noise from children because it is very much a family affair. We also worship with music, a lot of music, meaning a choir or a selection of congregational hymns with an organ accompaniment, but nary a hint of a band.
Now, I didn’t go to the concert with any apprehensions. It was a Saturday night after all, a good night for a rousing good time, but I knew this would be a different kind of worship, and an adventure of sorts for me. It was; and it was fun.
My sweet daughter-in-law, who has given birth to half of our eighteen grandchildren, took two-thirds of her brood to the matinee performance. I was anxious to get her report. I always want every soul within earshot of David’s voice to come away with undying appreciation and admiration for his talent and charismatic self. Is that too much to ask? Of course not.
To my relief and total satisfaction, they all had a great time and noted that David received the loudest and most enthusiastic reception of all, which included my smartly trained grandchildren participating in that welcome. It was also noted that David probably gained new fans with his appearance alone, and he certainly did not disappoint with his music. Daughter-in-law remarked that his distinctive voice “cut through everything going on” during his songs. While I try to resist feeling a little smug about these kinds of reports, there are times when it just can’t be helped.
A few quick hours later, it was my turn. My husband and I filled up the SUV with a couple of friends and a grandkid band of merry teenagers. Happiest carpooling ever. We arrived early and waited for my “inside connection who shall remain nameless” to arrive with four tickets to seats on the main floor, close to the stage. The teenagers scattered with their tickets to find the best seats they could, and they did well. Meanwhile, the rest of us sauntered into the VIP section, pretending we had enough sophisticated wherewithal to look like we belonged there. As my fellow David concert goers know, I am all about reserved seating, and the kindest gesture of all in this massive general admission crowd was the offer of assigned floor seats. My bad back is still thanking you.
The concert began rather quietly with a young woman who accompanied herself at the piano while she sang the national anthem. I wish I could remember her name because she had a very pleasant voice; but the arrangement was so unusual, I almost missed the melody when it happened. That calm moment didn’t last long. The other musicians took their places and began the show with a religious fervor heretofore unbeknownst to me; however, it didn’t take long to get into the spirit of the celebration.
Because the band members and the solo artists were LDS, I fully expected the majority of the crowd to be the same. That was not the case, and I would go so far as to say that every Christian denomination in the area was generously represented that night. The Nashville Tribute Band (NTB) used biblical scripture and songs to tell the stories from their Redeemer album, and the crowd definitely felt more unity than difference. After all that has been in the news of late, it was a welcome comfort.
David Archuleta did not appear until the end of the program, something I was told to expect; but there were several nice solos along the way by Marie Osmond, Alex Boyé, and from the band, including a beautiful number from NTB member, Chad Truman, who has a terrific singing voice and who also works as David’s keyboardist. Talent galore on that stage.
I have to admit that I was completely ignorant about proper revival etiquette, so I took my cues from the friendly and charming Baptist couple sitting next to me who knew exactly what to do. They were into it with every number, singing along, taking pictures, and totally camera ready for David Archuleta to appear.
“Staring through windows at my own reflection, how can a window encompass perfection, and IIIIIII…..” (sorry, couldn’t resist)
His awaited entrance was accompanied by sustained applause and cheering, the loudest of the night. He looked more manly than boyish in his quasi-Western getup, an excellent choice, as I immediately heard a couple of remarks about him looking older now. David would have liked that. Cute Baptist couple was capturing every minute.
Marie Osmond had more costume changes than David had songs to sing, but he made up for it with his performance. There were plenty of “big notes” in this concert, a staple in revival singing perhaps, but David can belt it with the best of them and still have that unique tone that captures immediate attention. His “Glorious” was indeed glorious, and his “When the Son of Man Comes Again” was a fantastic finale. A wow moment.
A more personal highlight of the evening was the variety of positive responses from friends, most of them going to the concert for reasons I mentioned before: free tickets at a nearby venue. It is true that my friends cannot escape the fact that I am a forever fan of David Archuleta. There is no escape from my persistent prattling promotion. Perhaps they tolerate it because I am their friend, but few of them follow David on their own. When I heard their post-concert comments, like “So good!” “Powerful voice.” “He just grabs your attention.”, etc., it felt like an extra payday. I love it when I’m right.
One last thought about my revival survival, a revisited realization really: David Archuleta seems to do it all, and there is more to come. Some of it will be surprising. Aren’t you glad you’re still on the bandwagon? Me too.
Check out these amazing photos by Fabiana Beatriz. More here.
More amazing photos here.