Posted by: coomercove | October 17, 2007

Dollywood Weekend in Review

  • Brian Free & Assurance

As I mentioned, I was let down by Brian Free & Assurance. They weren’t bad by any means; I just didn’t enjoy them. I can’t really explain it, but the best way I can describe it is I was uncomfortable. I felt this way for all three sets. It was weird.

As for the actual singing, they were good. They did mostly fast songs. Each set consisted of seven songs, five medium to fast songs and two slow. I like “I Believe God”, a ballad from their new project. Their new single, “Praying Man”, and “Deep, Deep Sea” were performed all three sets. They closed each set with a ballad and a fast song, with the latter being encored.

This is the first time I’ve seen them since Jeremy Lile joined as bass. He seems like a good fit. I like his rendition of “Deep, Deep Sea”. He sounded just like Keith Plott on “Jesus Will Pick You Up”. Jeremy was also featured on “Save Me A Seat” from the new Real Faith project during the second set. He also got to beat box briefly during the third set.

One thing I will mention is that Brian Free talks way, way too much. Each of their sets lasted at least 40 minutes, with the longest being 44 minutes. During that 40 to 44 minutes, they only performed seven songs. I am not exaggerating, but Brian talked 10 to 15 minutes each set, just during the group introductions. I timed it. That isn’t counting the time introducing each song.

I’ve wrestled with this review, because I don’t want to be all negative or antagonistic, but I do want to be honest. And though I enjoy their music (read my very positive review of It’s So God), I honestly did not enjoy their three sets. I don’t have an agenda. I didn’t request a song that wasn’t performed. They didn’t make me mad. I talked to each one of the members and they were all very nice. I just would have enjoyed the time better listening to one of their CDs than listening to them live.

 

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
What A Lovely Name I Keep Looking Up I Keep Looking Up
Deep, Deep Sea Deep, Deep Sea Deep, Deep Sea
When We All Get To Heaven Only By The Blood The Biggest Step
I Believe God Praying Man I Believe God
Praying Man Introductions Praying Man
Introductions Save Me A Seat Introductions
For God So Loved It’s All About The Blood For God So Loved
Long As I Got King Jesus Jesus Will Pick You Up Long As I Got King Jesus
  • Crossway

They were awesome. Yes, they wear blue jeans, but they can sing. Fast, slow, tracks, guitar, acappella, it doesn’t matter. They can sing. They did basically the same set both times, but it didn’t feel like it at all. I enjoyed the songs the second time just as much as the first.

Matt Mcfarland is a great emcee (not to mention an awesome singer). He moves the program along, he ‘s funny, he connects with the crowd. I loved how he made his product pitch during a joke about himself forgetting the words to a song (“I’m just going to apologize, and if ya’ll would like to hear it sung correctly, you can buy one of our CDs. One for $15, two $25.”).

Scott Rogers is a perfect fit for this group. I wasn’t a huge fan of Scott’s during his time with N’Harmony, but he is great now. He’s also very humble and friendly. He is becoming one of my favorite people in SGM.

 

Set 1 Set 2
Victory In Jesus Victory In Jesus
I Want To Be Like You I Want To Be Like You
On My Way To Heaven On My Way To Heaven
Beautiful Thing Beautiful Thing
Introductions Introductions
I’ll Fly Away I’ll Fly Away
Oh My, My Oh My, My
If You Took It All Away I’m Surrendering
Acapella Song (Unknown Title) He Whispers Sweet Peace To Me
The Long Arm Of Love Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now
Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now I Can Only Imagine
I Can Only Imagine Jesus Loves Me
It Looks Like Love To Me It Looks Like Love To Me
  • Legacy Five

The highlight of the weekend for me. They were out of this world. If you haven’t noticed a change in my top five groups, Legacy Five has debuted on the list at #2. For some reason, I always seem to forget how awesome these guys are. I can’t believe I left them off the list to start with.

L5 did mostly uptempo songs during their three sets. The exceptions were three songs they did all three times: “O Say But I’m Glad”, “I’ve Been Changed”, and “O Holy Night”. They did two or three Christmas songs each set. Scott Fowler, who exceeded my expectations as emcee, provided comic relief by blowing fake snow on the guys during the Christmas songs.  They did the first chorus of “Walk With Me” twice, once normal and again with country accents.  Glenn Dustin was featured on “I’ve Been Changed” all three sets to a great response.  The two hightlights during the L5 concerts (outside of them being completely wonderful) were “O Holy Night” and their great cut of “I Go To The Rock”, which I think is better than the Kingdom Heirs version. 

 

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
O! Say But I’m Glad O! Say But I’m Glad O! Say But I’m Glad
Strike Up The Band Strike Up The Band Strike Up The Band
I’ve Been Changed I’m Feeling Fine I’ve Been Changed
Know So Salvation I’ve Been Changed Go Right Out
Go Right Out Walk With Me Jesus Hold My Hand
On The Jericho Road Why Grandma’s House
Winter Memories Piano Solo Christmas Medley
Christmas Medley Winter Memories O Holy Night
O Holy Night O Holy Night I Go To The Rock
I Go To The Rock
  • Dixie Melody Boys

I was pleasantly surprised by the group. I had no idea who would be singing with them outside of Ed O’Neal. They started out with several medium to slow songs before finishing their set with four fast songs, including their final song, “When I Cross To The Other Side Of Jordan”. It amused me that it was their ninth song of the set. Former DMB piano player Joe Lane says when he was with them, they did that song ninth every night without fail. I always thought he was kidding. Now, I’m not so sure.

I have say that their baritone really impressed me. He was very, very good. I’d say he will be the next graduate of EOU.

 

Set 2
What A Lovely Name
A Soul Such As I
I Owe It All To Him
Over The Moon
Peace In The Valley
When They Ring The Bells Of Heaven
Victory Road
First Day In Heaven
When I Cross To The Other Side Of Jordan
  • Jeff & Sheri Easter

I’m not a bluegrass fan, so I’m not into their music. That said, I actually enjoyed their set. Jeff is funny. Sheri is a good singer. Charlotte is an incredible singer. The kids are funny.  I was very glad Lisa got to hear them sing “Go Rest High On That Mountain”.

 

Set 2
Life Is Great And Getting Better
Roses Will Bloom Again
Over And Over Again
Living In The Rain
Praise His Name
Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me
I Saw The Light (Mara playing the drums)
The Greatest Gift Of All
Go Rest High On That Mountain
Keep On The Sunny Side
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Responses

  1. Brandon,
    Great review of the weekend. I’m still baffled by the fact you didn’t enjoy Assurance, but we’ll just have to disagree on this one. I’ve only gotten to hear L5 once, but they are great. Frank Seamans really makes the sound of the group to me, he is a really good tenor. Excellent review!

  2. Thanks, Wes.

    I’m baffled that I didn’t enjoy Assurance, too. I’ve seen them in the past and thought they were great. This time, not so much. As I wrote in the review, it’s weird.

  3. Impressive effort on the review–writing it must have taken quite a while. Good job!

  4. Thanks, Daniel. The hardest part was getting the tables to fit. I would format them and save the entry, only the next time I opened it to work on it, the formatting would be gone. It was frustrating, but worth the time. The entry is long enough as it is. It would have been huge if hadn’t put the track lists side by side.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever tried tables in WordPress. That must have been challenging.


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