Posted by: coomercove | August 23, 2011

Concert Review: Old Paths, Gold City, 8/13/11

On Saturday, August 13, I took a trip to Chattanooga, TN for a concert at the Memorial Auditorium.  Paul Belcher promoted the event which featured Voices Won in a pre-concert, The Old Paths, the Hoppers, and Gold City.  Since the concert included my two favorite quartets, I had been looking forward to this concert for months.

I was unaware that Voices Won’s set began at 6:30, so when they began, I was in the lobby talking to Gold City’s lead singer Craig West.  I learned a few things about Gold City’s upcoming Somebody’s Coming project.  The Michael English song “Windows of Heaven” will probably not be on the final project and a new track was added to the recording to feature Dan Keeton.  Also, the first single from the recording, “Peter, James, And John” (I have seen this song referred to as “Peter, James, and Paul”, so I’m not sure of the correct title.) has already been sent to radio, so be listening for it.

When I finally made it to my seat during Voices Won set, what got my attention was the sound issues (that would be reoccurring through the night during the Hoppers’ and Gold City’s sets).  Numerous roars and squeals could be heard from the speakers and monitors during their set.  For the later part of their set, the issues were mostly under control and I was able to begin enjoying their set.  I had never heard the group before, so I was not familiar with their song titles to get a full set list.  The songs I recognized or heard introduced included “The Basics of Life”, “It Is Well With My Soul”, and “Road Less Traveled”.

The Old Paths were next and personally, I thought they “stole the show.”  By far, they had the best crowd response of the night (helped in part by bass Brandon Barry being from Chattanooga).  They opened up with “Wedding Music” and received two rounds of applause before the end of the song (one when the crowd recognized the song and another following Brandon’s verse).  Tenor Jeremy Peace received a standing ovation following his rendition of “Oh What A Savior”.  The crowd loved the group’s part switching (Jeremy and Brandon switched places) halfway through “Echoes From The Burning Bush.”  That was followed by two songs from the Wonderful Life project.  The group’s new single “Too Far Gone” featured Jeremy and lead Tim Rackley was featured on a beautiful song titled “Paved With Grace.”  The Old Paths’ first set ended with my favorite song from each of their last two recordings.  “The I of the Storm” featured Jeremy and is an extremely powerful song.  The old song “It’ll Be Joy” ended the set literally on a high note with Jeremy going through the roof.

The Hoppers were next but I stepped out for most of their set.  As I mentioned on twitter during the concert, I was unaware that Josh Simpson was back playing piano with the Hoppers.  During their set, I talked to the Old Paths’ Tim Rackley and Doug Roark.  Tim introduced me to his wife and sung half a song from the group’s next mainline project that he’s excited about.  The song is a fast one that actually says something and sounds like it will be incredible.  The Old Paths have been traveling for several years and have booked mostly church locations, including regular services, revivals, and conferences.  They have recently been adding more concerts to the schedule and I think this concert with the Hoppers and Gold City was a big step for them.  I was excited to see them do so well and the crowd respond to them the way they did.  They have a great sound and are all nice guys.

Gold City was the final group.  There isn’t much that hasn’t already been said about Danny and Tim.  Danny is an extremely underrated baritone who doens’t get near the credit he deserves.  Tim may not show out as much as he used to, but he is still awesome.

This was my second time seeing them with Craig West and I agree completely with Wes Burke.  Craig could be the best lead singer they have EVER had.  He is phenomenal.  He knocked his features (“Where Is God”, “He’s Still On the Throne” & “I’m Rich”) out of the park.

This was my first time seeing them with new tenor Dan Keeton.  To be upfront, I’m one of the people who liked Gold City’s sound with Brent Mitchell, so I was going to be a tough sale.  Dan didn’t blow me away, but he did sound good with them.  Dan’s style is more in line with Gold City’s earlier tenors than their recent ones.  I like that they have begun working in older songs like “God’s Building A Church” and “In My Robe Of White” that features him.  This has been much needed, because it seems like Gold City has been doing the same basic set list for three years.  I know this is due to personnel changes and delays on the new recording.  Still, when you see them multiple times, it takes some of the excitement out of the concert because you know what they are going to sing second (“By Your Grace, For Your Glory), third (“I Cast My Bread”), usually what song follows the group introductions (“It Won’t Be Long”), and what will feature the bass 3/4 through the program (“Under Control”).  I understand the reason why this is, but still, it takes something out of the concert.

The second round consisted of each group doing two or three songs.  The highlight of the Old Paths’ last set was Jeremy Peace putting in high notes I’d never heard in “I Know A Man Who Can.”  Gold City’s final song was “Midnight Cry.”  I believe Craig West performs “Midnight Cry” better than any of Gold City’s previous lead singers.  He is that good.

The Old Paths set List

Wedding Music
I’ve Got A Feeling
What A Savior
Saved By The Blood
Echoes From The Burning Bush
Too Far Gone
Paved With Grace
I Of The Storm
It’ll Be Joy
—————-
(We Shall See Heaven) Someday
Wonderful Life
I Know A Man Who Can

Gold City Set List

Where Is God
By Your Grace, For Your Glory
I Cast My Bread Upon The Water
It Won’t Be Long
He’s Still On The Throne
God’s Building A Church
Under Control
I’m Rich
Truth Is Marching On
————
Get Up, Get Ready
In My Robe Of White
Midnight Cry

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Responses

  1. I have on the best possible authority that the title of the new Gold City single is “Peter, James and John.”

    • Thank you! I couldn’t remember exactly what Craig told me, but I’ve seen the incorrect song title on multiple retail websites.

      • No problem! Dianne Wilkinson, the song’s author, was my source, in this case. 🙂

  2. Great review, Brandon. I had a ticket for the concert but we had a family event so I didn’t end up attending. I heard from several others, too, that The Old Paths really stole the show.

    • Thanks. Hate that you missed it. I would loved to have met you. That will have to wait until next month!

      The Old Paths were on top of their game that night. I’m glad other people thought so as well. I’ll always be a Gold City nerd, but right now, The Old Paths are my favorite group.

  3. Nice review. I’ve heard a little bit of the Old Paths and I like them, though I must be one of the only people out there who can’t really take it when Jeremy goes for that double high C or whatever it is…

    I’m not sure if I would go quite so far as to say Craig is the best GC lead EVER, because I really-really-really like Jonathan Wilburn. But he’s at least second best and maybe tied for first in my book.

    • Thanks. I enjoy tenors going through the roof, but I know the sky high notes aren’t for everybody. I remember people saying they didn’t like it years ago when Jay Parrack was with Gold City. Not everyone likes the same things.

      I think Craig is doing a super job with Gold City, especially considering this is his first full time singing position. Vocally, I think he can top Jonathan. What made Jonathan special was his energy on stage. Craig doesn’t have that, but face it, not many people do. LOL

      • True—needs to work a little on that “stage presence” thing. LOL.


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