Kissimme, Florida Concert Review
The concert was presented by Florida Christian College, and many of the students provided security as the doors were opened at 6:00 with the concert starting at 7:30. Personally, I am glad that the doors were opened that early as it allowed time to browse the product table. I was able to pick up the "Canticle Of The Plains" CD! Since there was an hour and a half until showtime, we were able to hear Rich and Mitch tune up although it was through the locked lobby doors :( . The doors to the auditorium were opened at 7:00, and we rushed to the front to get a close seat but the first five rows were reserved for the college students and staff.
Rich quietly walked on stage unnoticed by much of the crowd, but when they realized it, cheers and applause broke forth. Mitch McVicker then stepped out from behind the screen that would be used during the intermission to show footage of Compassion International's work with Native Americans. The stage itself consisted of only a few lights (mostly for visibility and not for effect) which only helped to backlight Rich and Mitch, since they kept the auditorium lights on during the entire concert.
Rich was quick to point out that this was #11 in a series of farewell tours. He also commented that instead of considering this a concert, that we were to consider it a class on the history of CCM. At which point he broke the crowd into three groups (A,B, and C). The "A" group was that would sing in Hebrew - "Hallelu, Hallelu" to which he quipped that if we were to sing in actual Hebrew emphasizing the "H" we should be careful not to spit on the people in front of us. The "B" group would sing Davidic - "Jah!" with much power in our voices. The "C" group would resemble the contemporary worshipers, most likely Baptists - "Praise Ye The Lord!". Each group was asked to stand up to sing their part and then sit back down, and Rich had each group sing all 3 parts by the time it was finished. What a crowd opener!
Next, he had the groups sing "I'm gonna sing, I'm gonna shout" which went right into "Sweet Chariot" and "Saints Go Marching In".
After that, he sat down next to Mitch to start into the rest of the night's song line-up, which went something like this...
I Will Sing - Hope To Carry On
Where You Are
Ready For The Storm (with story about Irish sailors, and how he first heard the song by Dougie McClain in Cincinnati, Ohio)
THE BABY JOKE - Let Mercy Lead
Mitch left the stage, and Rich walked over to the grand piano sitting on the left side of the stage. Within seconds of reaching the piano he had the introduction to his next song started, and then he sat down to play (in an awkward position - sitting sideways with his legs crossed)
Sing Your Praise To The Lord
We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are
Then he got up from the piano and walked over to center stage. Where he was rejoined by Mitch, as they picked up mandolins and played together a rendition of Bach (which he claimed might not come off well, but sounded amazing since several parts were in unison). Upon finishing, Rich stood up and left the stage to Mitch McVicker, who played three songs which I don't know the titles to, but will include lyrics...
"...north and south...east and west...His Love..."
"...sitting up in Heaven in an easy chair drinking lemonade..."
He commented how all of his songs seem to come back to one theme and how "Jesus scares the Hell out of us" which was very profound...
"...time will tell...love will..."
Then Rich re-appeared to sing a few songs and to have the audience make the auditorium rain (I won't give this away, its something that has to be experienced...my wife loved it!) before taking a short break...
new song "...you're always here..."
RAIN - BREAK
After the break, an instrument I had been waiting for him to pick up, the hammered dulcimer was used to do a few instrumentals...
78 Eatonwood Green
Complete intro to "C.O.Y.N."
After that short set, they started singing more of those beloved songs
Calling Out Your Name
At this point Mitch left the stage, and Rich asked us if we knew this...
Sometimes By Step
Step By Step
While the crowd sang the last chorus a capella, Rich slipped away from the stage as unnoticed as he came in. When the goose bumps subsided we started cheering for that much desired encore...
It Is Well With My Soul
I'm Gonna Sing, I'm Gonna Shout
Saints Go Marching In
After the concert, both Rich and Mitch were in the lobby to meet their audience to sign autographs and take pictures. I was told that Mitch would be recording an album for distribution next year. I also mentioned the interview on KTLI and the mailing list. Rich was just amazed at the advances in computers, especially at the computer generated t-shirt designs that my wife and I were wearing (which my wife noticed his surprised reaction to, and commented on later). He signed my shirt and CD's "be God's, Rich". A great ending to a spectacular evening with an awesome man of God.Review by Matt Ritzenthaler
Return to Calling Out Your Name