I was excited to have the chance to see the Hoppers again in concert on Thursday, May 2. Last time I saw them TaRanda Greene filled in for Kim Hoppper, so I was hoping for the chance to hear these two dynamic singers together. So I was a little disappointed to find out that Kim was not there once the concert started; however, I was not disappointed in how the concert went overall at all!
The Hoppers started with Claude singing "If I Can Help Somebody." I had never seen them start a concert with this song, normally it's an uptempo song, but this really worked well. This is Claude's signature song, and rightly so, it's one that I love hearing him sing.
Then, Dean and TaRanda were featured on "I Am Whatever You Need." The more I hear this song, the more I love it. Then they sang the always favorite, "Yahweh."
Claude asked how many people got an NQC brochure as they were coming in. He said now if you got one, put it down, we're up here singing. Haha! I have a feeling there's never a dull moment with Claude on stage, especially if you're on stage with him.
He mentioned to the audience that Kim had needed to stay home with her baby girl. The audience all "aww"ed over the baby girl reference, and Dean quickly stepped in to say that the baby girl was 8 years old, and there were no new babies in the Hopper household! Then, Claude introduced TaRanda, and she sang "Sky Full of Angels." It was so good to hear her go back and sing a song that you regularly saw her sing in concert with the Greenes. Loved hearing this!!
They sang "I'll Worship Only at the Feet of Jesus," and at the end did one more repeat of the chorus a capella! Absolutely beautiful! Then, TaRanda sang "Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin." She was simply incredible on this song, not only were the vocals spot on, but the way she conveyed the lyrics of this song made it the standout performance of the night for me.
"Yes I Am" was next and the audience was standing and clapping along through most of the song. Claude thanked people for being there after the song and for being a good audience so far. He talked a little bit about how they loved coming to Arkansas.
Claude then started giving his testimony, and said he was saved when he was a teenager in the 6th grade. Several people in the audience chuckled at this, and Dean started laughing as well. He cut into Claude's story and said, "Y'all are quick." Claude was a little confused about what he said that was so funny to people, but kept right on. He introduced Mike and said that he was the only guy who has been voted Favorite Musician who is a drummer! Didn't know that!
At other Hoppers' concerts I've been to they normally have the halves pretty even, but with so much packed into the first half they only sang a few after the break. They started it off with "Waiting on my Ride." They said this was TaRanda's first time to sing Kim's part on the song, but no one would have known if they hadn't told it.
Claude picked on TaRanda a bit saying that during one song in the first half she sang it a little worldly. She asked him what made it worldly if it was how she moved her foot. He said that it was, it was how you would move your foot in a night club. So Dean chimed in with, "How would you know, Dad?" :) TaRanda said that she was raised Penecostal so that explained moving her foot! I love seeing moments like this with the Hoppers, the just for fun, picking on each other times.
They closed the night with "That's Him" and "Shoutin' Time." During "Shoutin' Time" Claude brought up a young girl from the audience, just a toddler who had requested them sing this song. She even had her own little pick microphone that she brought on stage with her! Precious!!
I love seeing the Hoppers live. They never fail to disappoint. It was not only a night of great singing and testimonies, but a night where they seemed relaxed on stage and free to joke around and have fun with each other. I was a little dejected at first finding out that I wouldn't be able to hear Kim and TaRanda sing live together, but the night was not disappointing in the least!