Amy Grant Delights Audience at Charleston Music Hall
Pop & Christian Entertainer Offers Up Love & Inspiration to Faithful Fans
By: Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Drawing on familiar pop radio hits from the 1980’s and 90’s alongside several praise and worship songs veteran singer songwriter Amy Grant entertained an appreciative crowd Friday (May 27th) at the Charleston Music Hall. Full of life and looking amazing, the 61-year-old performer delivered over two dozen songs that had the mostly AARP crowd swaying in their seats while joining in on recognizable choruses.
For over two hours the former ‘queen of Christian pop’ took the audience on a musical journey that began over four decades ago. While Grant doesn’t preach, she lets her songs of love and inspiration send forth powerful messages. Those who have followed her from her early days as a young teenager were quite comfortable with a set list peppered with songs celebrating a risen savior.
‘Stay for A While’ seemed only appropriate to open the show as Grant thanked fans for staying with her for all these years. The 1986 track from ‘The Collection’ album was her second single to crossover onto the pop charts following ‘Find a Way’ which she offered up three songs later. Grant waxed poetic on ‘Oh How the Years Go By’ putting concert goers in a sentimental mood.
Nearing the midway point Grant offered up a couple of tracks from her multi-platinum 1991 release ‘Heart in Motion’. Fans appeared delighted to hear ‘Good for Me’ and ‘That’s What Love is For’.
In between tracks she shared poignant stories, remembering how a 15 year secured a record deal using only a cassette tape combined with hope and a prayer. 45 years into her career Grant’s voice is still as soft and innocent as it was when she began her journey on her self-titled debut album in 1977.
She recalled being invited to her one and only NASCAR event only to have all three Andretti’s eliminated from the race which tagged Grant with a negative vibe from the famed racing family. The upside was she met a very handsome Paul Newman. The evening was full of cherished stories on how she wrote and approached her arsenal of songs, some funny while others were more moving.
Faithful followers of Grant were familiar with ‘Eye to Eye’ and ‘Out in the Open’ from her 2003 release ‘Simple Things’ which by all accounts was a return to her Christian roots. Three additional praise songs ensued including the heavily scripture laden ‘El Shaddai’ and ‘Sing Your Praise to the Lord’ from the 1982’s ‘Age to Age’ album.
Nearing the finish line Grant sent out two chart toppers from ‘Heart in Motion’ with ‘Baby, Baby’ and ‘Every Heartbeat’ picking up the beat and getting the crowd moving. ‘Emmanuel’ from her debut 1983 ‘Christmas Album’ got the crowd on their feet and reminded attendees that Christ is to be celebrated everyday and not just during the holidays.
Although not classified as a Christian song ‘Put a Little Love in Your Heart’ is one Grant has been adding to her concerts for many years. Her cover of Jackie DeShannon’s 1969 track is an ideal song to include and sends out a powerful message. Seemingly like Grant the song is timeless. The entire audience was singing in perfect chorus.
Bidding farewell and thanking fans for following her Grant made a quick exit, only to return with ‘I Will Remember You’, a Top 20 hit from ‘Heart in Motion’ before closing the show reprising with ‘Don’t Ever Want to Lose It (Wind in the Fire) a track included on the 30th anniversary edition of her 1991 release.
On the surface Grant’s life may be idyllic but admittedly she’s gone through the same trials and tribulations her adoring fans have faced. While not a travelling evangelist, Grant’s music does echo with songs of hope and inspiration. On this particular Friday night Amy Grant brought a welcome revival to the city of Charleston.
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