Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ain't That What It's All About

I saw Gold City on Friday, Jan. 13 in Jacksonville, Ark. One thing I love about seeing groups in person is hearing the testimonies and the stories and really seeing the different personalities. My theory is that I can always hear the songs later on, but you don’t often get the chance to really hear from the groups. That theory still definitely holds true, but set list for the night wasn’t what I expected it to be. While it showcased some of their new songs and songs that I wasn’t as familiar with, several Gold City standards were missing: "I’m Rich," "When He Blessed My Soul" (maybe not a standard, but they have been staging it a lot recently), "Robe of White" and "Midnight Cry." Honestly, I didn’t know that there could be a Gold City concert without the standard "Midnight Cry." However, what the night lacked didn't compare to everything that the concert was.
The group started off with "Where is God" which is becoming one of my favorite Gold City songs. Next was the song, "Peter, James and John," which is the Singing News #1 song for the month of March. The song has evidently gotten a lot of airplay, and rightfully so, it’s a catchy song with a great message. By "Your Grace, For Your Glory" was next, and then followed by "I Cast My Bread Upon the Water." So far many of the songs had featured Daniel Riley, and I was really struck by how strong of a singer he is. Not that I thought he was terrible by any means before this concert, but he really stood out and was spot on with his vocals.

However, I was anxious to hear Jerry Pelfrey sing. The next song was "He’s Still on the Throne," which I don’t remember hearing before, at least not them singing it live. After seeing the initial clips of him that circulated YouTube, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be a huge fan of his. However, once he got into his element on that song, it was one of the top power vocal moments of the night. Like Daniel Riley said on Friday night, while I might not be a fan of calling a grown man Punkin, I am a fan of Jerry Pelfrey in the lead role. You can definitely tell that in the months that have passed since he joined the group, they have gelled and blended more.

Then, they sang "I’m Saved, Sure and Ready to Go," which I didn’t realized until Friday night that the song was written by Doug Riley. Daniel introduced the group next, ending with Bryan Elliot who was turned loose on "Keep on the Firing Line." 

Daniel set up "It Won’t Be Long next." It has become one of my new favorite Gold City songs. It’s a catchy song that allows the group to show more of their personalities and fun sides. Daniel said that he couldn’t strut or dance like Dixie and the Hummingbirds because he was Baptist, but he did slide around a time or two. It was not only a fun song for the crowd, but also for the group.

The song before intermission was "God’s Building a Church." Dan Keeton does a great job on his solos on the song. I was impressed with how well he did when I saw them in August in Branson, but he’s gotten even better since then.

After a brief intermission, the guys started the second half with "When I Get Carried Away." Next they sang "I Have An Anchor," which to me sounded like pretty much the same arrangement that the Booth Brothers did.

Then, Tim Riley sang "Under Control," and it was another reminder of why he’s still one of the best in the business, and one that all other bass singers look to for inspiration. The group picked up the pace again with "I’m Not Giving Up."

Daniel then told the story of his brother, Doug’s, death and how it led to a period of depression for him. It was a stirring testimony where he opened himself up and became transparent to the audience and just spoke from a place of brokenness. It was also a great testament to how God had helped him get back on the right track. I love when singers are willing to open themselves up and show their scars to point people to Christ.

It led to the next song, "Never Too Broken to Belong," which is also from their new CD. I had not heard this song before, because I had only downloaded a few songs from the new CD from iTunes. After hearing it Friday night, it was the first song I downloaded when I got home.  Lyrically, it’s such a strong song, and Daniel does a great job with it.

Daniel brought the focus to Christ completely talking about how they were there to proclaim Christ, encouraging believers and telling the lost about Him. The concert ended with "Preach the Word," which led to the invitation. 

While I was hoping for one more song, "Midnight Cry" or even "When He Blessed My Soul" to end on an upbeat note, the concert ended how it should have focused on Christ. Gold City made it clear that they were there to encourage believers and to point the lost toward Christ, and that’s what they did. And after all, “ain’t that what it’s all about?” 

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