Date: 27 Sep 1998
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 223]: Lancaster, PA 09/20 reviews

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Patty Hegberg's Lancaster review

Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 22:15:04
From: Patty Hegberg
Subject: Lancaster, PA concert

Hi Danl!
Just got back from the Ragamuffins' concert in Lancaster, PA - it was
great to see them!  The crowd seemed a little subdued throughout the
first half - maybe because of it being the day after the one year
anniversary of the accident.

This Train started the lineup with their considerably pepped up version
of "I Saw the Light", "Mimes of the Old West", "A Million Years" and
"Monster Truck" (introduced to us as a "love song"? from a "sensitive"
band?? - I love Mark's humor).  They had a little trouble with the
sound, in fact, Mark, Rick and Jimmy had to talk to the sound guys a few
times throughout the show.  They didn't say much about Rich, except that
they missed him and were glad to still have Mitch.

Mitch and the Kid Brothers were next - I was really impressed at how
they could switch to so many different instruments!!  I'm not sure of
the exact titles of the songs, but they started with His Love is Right
Here and Right Now, with Eric on mandolin and Michael on congas.  I
think the next one was Freedom with Michael on dulcimer and Eric on
cello.  Mitch seemed a little nervous and didn't talk too much to the
audience, but he mentioned his double vision and expressed his
thankfulness for being able to do anything at all after such a bad
accident.  They played His Love Takes Hold of Me (again, I'm not sure of
the titles); Only Love Will; and they ended with the Lemonade Song with
Michael on the washboard.  It was funny, Mitch forgot the words in the
middle of the song - Rich's influence, I guess!

Ashley Cleveland came on stage next with her pink and purple guitars -
she really sounded great, vocally and instrumentally!  She sang "He Is"
(not sure if that's right), "Henry Doesn't Care", "Come Thou Fount of
Every Blessing" and "I Need Jesus". She mentioned she has an album
coming out on Tuesday and that she interrupted her laundry schedule to
come tonight.

The Ragamuffins came out next, opening the set with a recording of Rich
playing "Nothing But the Blood", then they went right into Rick singing
"My Deliverer", Mark singing "Surely God is With Us" and Rick singing
"You Did Not Have A Home" (he said they usually end up in a train wreck
on stage during that one - don't know exactly what he meant, but he
played harmonica and guitar at the same time and still sang it right!).
"Hard To Get" was next and an excellent performance of "Man of No
Reputation" followed with Michael on accordian and Eric on cello.

Rick took a few minutes to thank everyone for coming and said that this
was one of the toughest and yet most joyous years of his life.  He said
that Rich had a simple faith and spent his life investing in others so
that his life was like a rich, warm, complex quilt.
After an encouraging word to support Compassion and a short
intermission, the last half of the set included "Somewhere" (Mark);
"Ready for the Storm" (Jimmy); "The Breaks" (Rick); "Jesus" (Ashley);
"Screen Door" - which got a standing ovation for the cups; "If I Stand"
(Aaron - they messed up the words during this one too - it was funny to
see them all laugh and point at each other); "Calling Out Your Name"
(Mitch); "I See You" and "Awesome God".  For the encore, they came back
with "Creed", "Step By Step" and in traditional Rich style, they left
the stage while the audience sang the "Doxology".  Rich's "Nothing But
The Blood" on dulcimer closed the show.

A couple of funny things Rick said about Rich:  "Most of the stories
about Rich we can't repeat" and that he had trouble with electronic
things "he could barely turn a lamp on"  "I wouldn't let him come near
my amp because something would happen to it until he'd walk away, then
it would be okay."

I can't believe it's been a year already!  I sure miss him!
God Bless,

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Michael's Lancaster review
as posted to the Ragamuffin Mailing List

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 00:41:40
From: Michael
Subject: [ragamuffin] el fini

Here is my best recollection of the Ragamuffin show in Lancaster, PA 
last Sunday Sept. 20.

THIS TRAIN:  I've never heard any of their songs before.  If there is
one word to describe them, it is fun.  Mark is 'hold the gut and laugh"
funny.  They sang:

I Saw the Light
Mimes of the Old West
A Million Years
Monster Truck

Mark introduced "Monster Truck" as their best attempt at a sentimental
love song.  He told how he never liked writing love songs about a
certain girl because CD technology tends to outlive most relationships,
and then everytime you hear the song you are reminded of the
relationship..and that because of that truth he feels sorry for Phil
Collins.  They were introduced as "Riches favorite band".  They were
very tight and seemed to just be having a blast.  What a great warmup.
Not really my style of music, but they sure do rock, and what fun!!

MITCH AND THE KID BROTHERS:  Wow.  Again, I hadn't yet heard Mitch's
music either.  They played:

Here and Now
Take Hold of Me
Only Love Will
Lemonade Song

Of course you could see a little of Rich's influence, maybe we were just
looking for it, but also plainly evident were three very talented
musicians and the love they share for one another and for their Father.
Mitch spoke quickly of being in a bad accident a year ago, one which
took Rich's life, how he's glad to be able to do *anything*, how the
doctor's say he will *someday* get his complete vision back, how he will
*someday* get his voice totally back - but then he said this, and this
is one of the things that impacted me most during the day:  " I
thought I'd just get up here and do what I".  What powerful
simplicity.  Think about it, what more can we do to follow Jesus than
that?  Powerful words.  Eric and Michael are both very talented and they
all have fun on stage.  I loved the Lemonade Song, had heard so much
about it!  I think it's important that we don't look to Mitch to carry
on what we miss about Rich.  As it says in the liner notes of my new
favorite CD (this week!), in the "thanks to" part, Mitch thanks "Rich,
my friend and teacher".  I nearly cried reading that this morning, but
it also made me realize that Rich *was* only friend and teacher to
Mitch, and that God created Mitch to be Mitch, not Rich.  We should all
keep that in mind.

ASHLEY CLEVELAND:  Double freakin' WOW !!  What a great blessing.
Ashley was only available for 3 of the 23 shows on this tour, according
to Rick later, I'm so glad that Lancaster was one of them!  There are no
words to capture the raw power of her voice.  I was on the edge of tears
everytime she opened her mouth - why? - thinking about it later I decided it
was because here is such a clear example of something so totally from
God.  There is no training that produces a voice like hers.  I had
mentioned in a previous post that I had seen Rich on the Brother's
Keeper tour, but couldn't remember much about it.  Ashley sang "Henry
Doesn't Care" - and it sparked several memories from that show, she had
Henry (her son, who is beginning Kindergarten this year) on stage with
her then.  I got to chat with Ashley briefly after the show and she
reminded me that Henry was toting a plastic guitar (he must have been
3!) and then I remembered how Henry *jammed* and the crowd went nuts.
Funny, now I remember quite a few more details from that show!!   little
blessings!!  I don't have a complete song list for Ashley, I don't know
the titles.  She mentioned how she and Rich both loved the old hymns,
and two things she would advocate if she were *political* would be 1)
Keeping the old hymns and 2) Burning all commentaries.  Hmmmm.  Anyway,
Ashley rocked, said she is putting out a "rockin' little record soon", I
for one will get it.  Song list:

1.  I don't know, but it sure rocked...
2.  Come Thou Fountain
3.  Repeat of no. 1
4.  This may have been titled "I Need Jesus", and yes, it rocked!

RAGAMUFFINS:  Reading previous reviews, most mentioned the commanding
stage presence of Rick Elias.  It's all true.  They opened with My
Deliverer, I cried, tried to sing along but couldn't.  I wasn't sad,
just overwhelmed.  Rick sang and the band played with such power and
passion - it was nearly paralyzing.  Tremendous.  From TJR they played:

My Deliverer
Surely God Is With Us
Hard to Get
Man of No Reputation

"This one's for Rich", Rick said as he played Man of No Reputation.  I
love that song, and he performed it beautifully.  Rick talked of being
blown away by the honesty, confession, bravery, etc of "Hard to Get",
that it might be his favorite song on the album.  Hey - didn't he say
that 'My Deliverer' was his favorite on the TJR radio show?  I guess
it's true for *every* ragamuffin that each song is one's favorite on a
Rich album, no?  :)

Rick then gave a talk, mostly about Compassion, but he also said this:
Paraphrasing..."I know that none of you are out here today to see us,
but that you're here because of Rich".  At first I thought, no, I would
be here to see you guys, but then realized that in fact Rick was right.
I was there because of Rich, as were we all.  Would I ever have known of
or seen these guys if not for Rich?  Probably not.  You know, they were
all cool with that too. There was a 15 minute intermission, then he said
they would come back and devote the second half of their set to Rich's
music, a tribute I guess, but more of a celebration.  Each sang a song:

Mark - Somewhere ("I don't know all the words and surely can't sing it
in this key", said Mark)
Jimmy - Ready for the Storm
Rick - The Breaks  ("first time I heard it it moved the snot out of me,
literally.", said Rick)
Ashley - Jesus
Mark, Mitch, Aaron & Eric - Screen Door **
Aaron - If I Stand (after reading from Eph. 6, the "armor" part,  cried
again as he sang...)

** A nearly flawless rendition of the "cup thing".  Now I had never seen
it before, it seemed to me that Aaron may have goofed once, not sure, he
was sure smiling a "I just goofed" kind of smile - regardless, when they
finished the crowd exploded and we jumped to our feet in unison - it was
awesome and the guys seemed thrilled.  Perhaps it was the first time
they got it right, again, I'm not sure Aaron goofed!  Anyway the ovation
was such a genuine uproar of love -and the guys were psyched - as if to
be saying ("YEEEAAAHHH - RICH -WE *DID* IT !!!!)  What fun.

Two commentaries I want to mention.  Mark:  Mentioned walking outside
during the intermission and watching a horse in the field nearby
(Lancaster is a small city interwoven with farms!).  He said that horse
seemed like the most beautiful thing to him, then he thought about why
that was. Answer - "because that horse doesn't know how to do anything
other than what it was created to do".  I heard that one loud and
clear.  I guess we are most beautiful when we do what we are created to
do, bear the image of Christ in the way in which we are uniquely made
and equipped.    And then Rick:  He spoke of touring with Rich, and how
not too long into the tour you get to see the best and worst of
everyone, and how they all liked to *get* one another.  He said the way
to *get* Rich was to put anything electronic in front of him.  "The guy
could not turn on a light", he said.  "He had an aura or magnetic field
around him which rendered electronic equipment inoperable"  "He was a
walking Y2K bug...".  Funny.

They finished up with:

Calling Out Your Name - (Michael's dulcimer brought forth more tears)
I See You
Awesome God

Creed was incredible, it almost seemed like Rick was elevated from the
stage.  They poured all they had into Creed, there are simply no words
to describe it.  The crowd sang along, I think at one moment I saw the
roof lift off the building, just for a second though...

They walked off stage and then encored with Sometimes By Step, and
walked off quietly after starting us in the Doxology.

Afterword, I got to meet everyone as they milled about the lobby.  A
highlight was being able to shake hands with and thank Rick, Mark,
Jimmy, and Aaron for finishing the record and for a great show.  They
all seem so nice, as do Mitch, Michael, and Eric.  And Ashley too!   I
didn't meet Cobra Joe and Jordan from This Train, so I guess I didn't
meet them all.  Oh well.

Some of my friends mentioned how the show gave them a sense of "closure"
regarding Rich's death.  For me, I think the closure came when I first
heard and then got to know The Jesus Record.  The concert was a
celebration.  I didn't feel any different on the 19th, other than being
amazed at how fast a year goes by.    Rich challenged me to follow Jesus
with my all - I'm way far from that, but closer than I know - and Rich's
impact on me has been to push me a little closer.  Mitch's comment in
the liner notes of his CD, thanking "Rich, my friend and teacher" points
to the impact we can have on our friends, and the impact our friends can
have on us when we allow God to work in those relationships.  I know
Rich read Thomas Merton's "No Man Is an Island".  Indeed.

Peace to you who are Gods,

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