Date: 22 Oct 1995
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 40]: Peoria 10/20 concert

Here's an account of Tim and Nancy Rice's trip to see Rich in Peoria. Thanks Rice's!

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Chris and Melanie's recap of the Houston show could pass for the Peoria show in most ways. Of course, some of the circumstances were different. This was Nancy and my first RM show, so we only knew about what we'd heard. In fact, we are rather late-comers to Rich's music. Although we've been familiar with a couple of his songs (singing 'Awesome God' in church and our daughter teaching us 'Sometimes By Step' after camp), we didn't really know much about Rich and his music until about a year ago. At that time, I was out of town for a week, and between listening to 'A Liturgy, A Legacy, And A Ragamuffin Band' constantly in the car, reading Brennan Manning's 'Abba's Child', and reading through John in 'The Message', God touched me in a much-appreciated way. Since then, I have been very conscious of Rich and his music, and have only grown in my appreciation of him.

Our trip to the concert was a birthday gift for me. I turned 40 on the 19th, the show was on the 20th, and Rich's 40th birthday happened to be the 21st. Not that he knew, but it was one of the things that made the evening special. The venue was a cavernous exhibit hall in the Civic Center, and our seats, while 3rd row, were so far to the side that the speakers totally shielded the singers from our view. Oh, well, we enjoyed it anyway. By the way, Get there early, as they play some video clips along with music before the show (can't tell you what they were, though, as our view was blocked).

Carolyn was wonderful, especially in the circumstances. It was a cold, wet day, and it was her first performance after being sick for 5 days. She managed 3 songs (with Jimmy playing along on a couple). Don't take this wrong, it's meant as a compliment and I'm happily married (19 years now), but I think I could fall in love with that girl. Anyway, we appreciated her. I'm sure we'll be picking up her CD.

Ashley soloed about 4 songs with her color-coded guitars. What a voice, and 'Lesson Of Love' stirs my soul every time I hear it. Yes, Henry came out for his song at the end of her set, and he was a hit.

Rich and the Ragamuffins played a wonderful set. As I said, the Houston review really covers it well, so i won't go into detail. It seemed to take the crowd awhile to get into things, like clapping and standing. I'm a proponent of participating in the music, and there were times when the crowd got into it, just wished there had been more. But that's its own subject.

It was fun to hear familiar songs (yes, we're newcomers, but working hard to catch up!) performed live. There was a lot of energy and joy in the show. Mark Robertson on bass seemed to be having as much fun as us! In fact, the whole band seemed glad to be there, despite the difficulties alluded to more than once. We appreciate their moving through the problems and giving us a great show. I wish I could put our experience into concise words. The best I can do is to state that we were blessed and thoroughly enJOYed it.

I will add that the show is coming to Springfield, Illinois, the evening before Thanksgiving. This is basically home turf for us, so we'll be there, and we're taking our daughters to this one. It's in a nice auditorium, built for shows, and our seats are up close and dead-center. So we're looking forward to another wonderful evening. Maybe we'll somehow get the chance to meet and thank Rich and the others - they deserve it and we'd enjoy it.

Nancy's comment to include - we really appreciated Rich's openness throughout. He made us feel like family.

May God bless the rest of the tour, and all that will come after.

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