Always ready to tell a story, Gerald Wolfe recalled the first time Greater Vision stood on a stage together as a trio. It was a tiny Christian Church in Grassy Creek, Kentucky on a Sunday Morning, and there, GV sang their first song together – Jesus Is Here. Twenty years later, Gerald stood on another platform – Morristown, Tennessee‘s First Baptist Church – with group members Rodney, Chris and a special appearance by Mark Trammell, Greater Vision celebrated their 20th Anniversary.
DVD’s are always promoted as having a concert “in your living room.” Sometimes these videos will feature songs from a new CD, other times they’ll showcase the best ballads and barn burners the group has to offer. Yet, Greater Vision’s release The Anniversary Celebration does neither. Instead, it offers something far better – it traces this trio’s history from day one up to the CD that was their newest at the time of the DVD’s recording. Basically, this film offers it all. The Anniversary Celebration was recorded on December 30, 2010 – the same year their Welcome Back project released. From that CD, you’ll hear three songs; Never Been, God Wants To Hear You Sing and God So Loves Me. (The ballads are deeply rooted in GV’s history.) Then we find It Means Just What It Says from GV’s 2007 release, Everyday People, and Faces from their 2004 recording (also titled Faces), and the all time hit My Name Is Lazarus from Greater Visions 1999 project, Far Beyond This Place. Still, we can trace songs farther back in this trio’s history with songs like Common Garments(‘97), I Could Never Praise Him Enough (’95), and even one that appeared on their very first recording – Sailing Away (’91). If the question is ever raised, “Can the best of a 20 year career be crammed into a two hour concert?” The answer is yes, and this DVD proves it!
Yet, the songs aren’t the only thing that make this DVD an authentic “Greater Vision concert” – as you most likely already know, you can’t see GV and not share a good laugh or two! There are certainly a few stories on this film that will do just that…maybe you’ve already heard them before, but in its own way, their presences completes the video. On the other hand, a genuine GV concert will have another important element – the Gospel message. Rodney Griffin leads this at the end of the video, right before God Wants To Hear You Sing. So when you sit down and watch this taping, it portrays Greater Vision exactly the way you’d see in a live concert at a church or sing.
Location: First Baptist Church – Morristown, Tennessee
1. I Could Never Praise Him Enough
2. It Means Just What It Says
3. Tell Me The Story Of Jesus
4. My Name Is Lazarus
5. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
6. Hallelujah Square
7. God So Loves Me
8. Common Garments
9. Never Been
10. When The Gates Swing Open*
11. Sailing Away*
12. Jesus Is Here*
13. It’s Just Like Heaven*
14. He’s Still Waiting By The Well
15. With All The Many Miracles
16. I Will Serve Thee
18. God Wants To Hear You Sing
Behind The Scenes: Bonus features on a video like this is priceless. The things you’d never get to see backstage suddenly come to life with this section of the DVD. There were three different clips: Out-takes, “20 Years In 10 Minutes,” and Backstage. The out-takes were shots from the concert when things didn’t go quite right. Once, when Mark Trammell left the stage and Gerald exclaimed, “Welcome back my buddy, Rodney Griffin!” – Rodney didn’t come! Re-cut! LOL My favorite was the backstage footage. There is nothing like watching your favorite male trio get their make-up put on! *smile*
Highlights: When I hit the play button on the remote, Dr. Charles Stanley appeared on my TV screen welcoming Greater Vision to the platform of Morristown’s exquisite First Baptist Church. Seconds later, GV was standing on stage in the beautiful church illuminated by blue lights. To the left of the stage, Stan Whitmire sat at a glossy black grand piano and added live accompaniment. Immediately, I knew this was going to be a very special video. And it was. After the first nine songs, the video faded into a clip of Greater Vision singing in 1991. This paved the way for GV to come back on stage and sing with all the original members: Gerald Wolfe, Mark Trammell and Chris Allman. (The songs they performed as the “original” GV are noted in the track list with an asterisk next to them.) Nearing the end of the video, Rodney prayed and gave an invitation for those who had a desire to come to Christ, after this, the evening closes with God Wants To Hear You Sing.
Conclusion: Throughout the recording, scenes like the one’s described above fill the video: Rodney’s earnest expressions as he sang Common Garments – the way that Gerald can bring a story to life – Chris’s ever present smile. I sang along, laughed, and shed a few tears. It all came together for a memorable video. Made me wish I was there when they filmed it! But since I can’t go back and re-wind time, I’m more than pleased with the video…and you can be too! If you haven’t already added it to your collection, you can do so by going HERE. (and scroll to the bottom of the page!)