You know that feeling you get when you just know that you’re missing something good and have no power to change it? Well, I had that feeling driving up I-57 when the clock struck 7 P.M. – instead of sitting in the Marion Civic Center watching Triumphant Quartet and the Nelons, I was sitting in my SUV driving to Marion, IL!
Well, sometimes things like that just happen, I wasn’t able to leave work early on Thursday like I had planned, and so I arrived at the Marion Civic Center for the Truthseekers Homecoming a little late, but … I made it! Even though I was disappointed about missing some of the singing, when I walked in Triumphant was singing White Flag, and hearing that caused all those feelings to immediately vanish! LOL! (That song just has a way about it, you know…)
As mentioned, I walked in just as Triumphant Quartet was introducing Old White Flag. As I tried to post a pic to Facebook and watch at the same time, I laughed again and again. That song never gets old! Afterward, as the guys “dragged” Clayton off the stage, Jeff let us know, “Don’t worry, he’ll be back…” then asked if he could play us some songs on the piano. A thunderous applause was his response! From the balcony view I had that night, I could easily see many jumped to their feet in ovation at the close of the stirring, powerful solo. Still seated at the grand piano, Jeff told a little story about spending some time with his Mom. One time, (I believe this was within the last year) he visited her, and she had him play hymns on the piano for her. During that afternoon, she told him, “Next time you do a Cd, instead of spending all your money for that background music, why don’t you something with just the piano?” So, the next project he did was just piano and he let his Mom pick the hymns to be recorded. Usually a Cd has 10 songs…she picked 14! He even said that he recorded the very first song that he learned to play, and then asked us if he could play it for us right there and then. Much applause confirmed the request, and Jeff began playing Mansion Over The Hilltop. It was sweet to hear the audience sing along with him! When the solo ended, the guys trailed back out on stage, and Eric shared a little from his heart about how proud he is of our country. Wanting to honor those who have served in our armed forces, Eric asked if the Veterans would stand. “Wow…Ladies and gentlemen, our heroes!” Eric exclaimed after one third of the crowd rose to their feet, “We really want to say thank you for serving our country.” Somebody Died For Me was the song dedicated, sung by baritone singer, Scott Inman. I can just say one thing about it; he put his all into it! Just as the last note was sung, the track music for “God Bless America” began playing, which was really the intro for the next song – Let’s All Stand For America. (The effect that those two songs had back to back was awesome!) Eric and David shared the first verse, but when they came to the first line of the chorus “let’s all stand for America” – everyone stood without hesitating. After a thunderous applause, Eric asked if we’d enjoyed the guys, signaling the end of their set. During their product pitch, Scott was telling about a Cd with songs that children can sing along with. He began listing some of the songs, then came to “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,” and began singing it…and the crowd sang it with him! Scott turned to his Dad and said, “We should have been singing these songs tonight!” That made the fans chuckle.
After a 20 minute intermission, the Nelons took the stage with a hymn, Morning Has Broken, showing off Amber’s beautiful high range. Keeping the background music with soft acoustic guitar and light drums, I Heard It First On The Radio followed. On the last chorus, Jason encouraged the audience to sing along with them, and let them have the last line all to themselves. “That sounded like a Gaither Homecoming Video!”He mentioned, and went on to say that they were going to try to do the requests they received. The next song was one of those requests; in fact, it was the Nelons’ first number one song – The Sun’s Coming Up In the Morning. Kelly’s alto voice was featured on the verses, and she did a great job. Next, she introduced their other daughter, Autumn, who came out and sang a song for us. With Jason playing accompaniment on the acoustic guitar, she sang the first verse of How Beautiful Heaven Must Be, and then, was joined by her sister and mother. Hearing that family harmony was beautiful! All their voices blended so smoothly! A loud applause encouraged another chorus done accapella, of which, Kelly encouraged the crowd to sing along with them. Kelly stepped up to sing the next song, with a little help from Jeff Stice on the grand piano! This song bears the same title as a great hymn, Oh, For a Thousand Tongues To Sing.
Jason introduced Triumphant’s second set, beginning with a good up beat quartet song that immediately got the crowd clapping – When The Trumpet Sounds. Scott Inman began the verse on the next song, Love Came Calling, shared a line with David, then all the guys stepped up to sing the chorus together. Eric’s solo, He Loves Me, a stirring ballad came next. On the second verse Eric said, “Here’s my favorite line…. ‘when I’m sad He loves me, even when I’m bad He still loves me…and when it seems no one cares for me, I talk to Jesus because He loves me’.” This slower song was performed with just Jeff playing piano. “He loves us in spite of ourselves, doesn’t He? The Bible says, (in Romans 5) that some would dare to die for a good man, yet, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…are you thankful for that tonight? You may not feel very loved, but He still loves you. Old things pass away…all things become new.” Jeff introduced the next song, explaining that they always have and always will continue tosing traditional quartet music. He asked, “Remember the Statesmen? The original Blackwood Brothers?”…and of course, he told of how he was “drug” to each concert within a 100 mile radius growing up as a child. So, they wanted to pay tribute to those old groups, that in Jeff’s words, “Paid tribute to the groups that influenced the groups that influenced us…” I Wish It Would Rain was that song, but more importantly, the dance moves!!! (Better than EH&SS!!!) It was hilarious!!!! At the end, Clayton knelt down on one knee with his mic stand singing into it! What made it funny was that as the guys sang, they were so serious. (How they did that without laughing was beyond me! LOL!)Moving Up To Gloryland followed. Now, we all know how David likes to show off his dance moves on this one too. When the other guys “whacked” him, signaling him to stop, he pointed to a lady on the first row and shouted, “She told me to do it!” Sadly, this up-beat song ended the concert.
Conclusion: All I can is this, for walking in late…I had a blast! This was my first time to the Truthseekers Homecoming and my very first time to see the Nelons sing. I loved the setting of the Sing! The Marion Civic Center sits downtown on the square. When you walk in, it’s set up like a theater. The Truthseekers know how to put on a Gospel Sing!!! As for the Nelons, I wish I could have heard more than just their second set (which was too short for me!) They have excellent harmony and I even recognized some of their songs from the radio, but I wish they would have sung something up beat. (All of the songs on their second set were slower ones.) Ah, Triumphant Quartet –nothing can get a crowd going like these guys! They have a perfect balance of entertainment, heartfelt singing, and encouragement. When they are on stage, you are captivated by what they are doing. Some of the songs they did that night I’ve seen them perform before, and was glad to see again live, and yet others were brand new to me. It was a good mix of “familiar” and “new!” All in all, it was a wonderful night! Tomorrow night will be Legacy Five and Greater Vision…so until then, rejoice in that Love that came calling to you and me!