Date: 19 August 1997
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 152]: Fort Wayne, IN 08/14 review

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Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 08:05:04
From: Angie Knight
Subject: Fort Wayne Concert 8/14/97

Daniel - 

I had to write of last night's concert, although I know I can't write a
description that will do it justice.  Of the fourteen or so Rich concerts
I've attended in the past twelve years, I must say that this was musically
the most mature, with more musical (and just as much if not more emotional)
depth than any of his others.  The closest I'd compare it to as far as the
overall feeling would be his tour with Avenue G several years ago.

What made this one different?  First of all, the talent of the band (both
This Train and the Ragamuffin members that were with him).  "Calling Out
Your Name" had a whole new depth with Eric's heartfelt cello in addition to
the dulcimer, and there was some wonderful, seemingly impossible and
intricate percussion with "78 Eatonwood Green" that actually made the
instrumental a crowd favorite.  Then there was the instrumental "Nothing
but the Blood" that started with two hammer dulcimers (Rich AND two band
members played them throughout the concert!), and little by little evolved
from completely acoustic to completely electric... it was chilling.  We
were then in awe as the Bach-esque introduction to "Sing Your Praise to the
Lord" was played entirely on xylophone by Rich and his percussionist, with
Rich running to the keyboard just in time to play background to his vocals.
 Also, this is the first concert I've ever attended during which Rich did
NOT forget any of the lyrics to his songs (though we never mind... it makes
him human).  His humanity was retained, however, when he had a case of the
hiccups during the acapella "I Will Sing," and Mark (from Ragamuffin and
This Train) grinned, reached over, and gave him a whack in the middle of
the chest.  As per usual, Rich had so much wisdom to share... I wish I'd
written more down, but I did take a few notes.  One quote that I'll share
was what he said between "While the Nations Rage" and "If I Stand": "That
was a song that I wrote for the village.  This song I wrote for the sky."
"If I Stand" has ever been one of my favorites (though there are so many),
this made it all the more meaningful... ah, to write a song for the sky.

I also must comment about Mitch - this is his fourth concert appearance
I've seen, and he has matured as a musical performer so much that he almost
seemed like a new person.  His rapport with the crowd was fabulous, and I
loved hearing his songs with background - the gained a whole new depth.
The "lemonade song" (as I've dubbed it) had some really funky percussion
that added to its whimsical/profound" feel.  You all will be glad to know
that Mitch said he's entering a recording studion in a week and a half to
record an album for the first time.  HOORAY!!

I know many people will be jealous... last night was the first night that
Canticle was available for sale!  I'm listening to it right now, reveling
in its beauty.  Mitch sang two of its songs last night, in addition to six
of his own.

One last note - I had a quick chance to chat with Rich before he went on
stage, and he said he's feeling better than he was.  If he did feel poorly,
he most certainly hid it well (as performers are known to do).

There is so much else, but I'll just end with one more Rich quote: "What I
like about the Bible is that it doesn't make sense, which makes it more
like truth than anything else I've ever read."

After reading the Naperville concert description, I thought you and others
might be interested in knowing that Rich did sing a new song he'd written,
so that is, I suppose, a sign that the energy level was back (as it seemed
to be).  The song was touching - I believe it's called "Madeleine's Song,"
and he wrote it about a little girl who wasn't supposed to be born because
of birth defect difficulties, then wasn't supposed to survive past birth,
and is now over a year old.  Apparantly, when Madeleine sleeps, she folds
her hands together.  The song, written in a waltz beat (unusual for Rich),
is a beautiful tribute to how God bends down, perhaps brushing against the
mountains, to hear Madeleine when she prays.  It is very sweet, with some
really pretty harmony on the chorus.  Rich and the others also performed a
round which, at one point, broke into six parts... it was not a song he
wrote, but I do hope he records it.

As I said before, I was so overbrimming after the concert that there is an
incredible amount I'd love to share, but I've already written quite a bit,
and I'm sure you'll hear from others, as well.

Thank you for all of the work you do organizing this list!!  The
information I've gleaned here over the past few weeks helped me appreciate
the concert all the more.

God bless!

Angie Knight
Upland, IN

(Oh - I just realized that I really ought to have mentioned This Train -
they were a pleasant, whimsical surprise, as I was completely unfamiliar
with them.  My husband, who loves punk, bought both cd's and is already
hooked.  I must say that I've never seen a string bass played quite like
Mark did!)

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