For me, Tuesday evening’s Main Stage started with Channing Eleton playing his blazing piano solo, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee. Dean and Kim Hopper were our hosts for Tuesday evening, and boy did we hear some good singin’! What I love about NQC is that I get the opportunity to see artists that never come to my area, and this night was full of groups I’d love to see locally, but don’t have the opportunity … and so, without further ado, I present Tuesday Night’s Main Stage!
Jeff and Sheri Easter kicked off their set with a song from Morgan’s solo project called God Knows What He’s Doing. After the solo, Sheri asked, “Do you believe it? – God knows what He’s doing!” Then she began singing You Just Praise His Name, which, when the audience first heard the verse, they gave an applaud of recognition. “It is wonderful to be back here,” Sheri said after the ballad, “and I am celebrating three years of being cancer free!” Jeff sang a song that fans might recognize from one of Three Bridges recordings called I Get To. Jeff shared, “I thought it would be great to honor my daddy tonight with this song that he wrote,” and then proceeded to sing Thank You Lord For Your Blessings On Me. Jeff’s dad, James, came up on stage to sing the second verse with them. It was a very sweet moment and everyone gave a standing ovation at the end! James shared a little of what the Lord impressed upon him when his wife died, then, the Easter’s sang the chorus one last time.
Dean came up on and stopped James from getting off the stage and thanked him for being the legend that he is, giving him a big hug and telling him how he loves him.
Legacy Five came on stage with a song called I’d Like To Say It Again. Glenn had a recitation in the number, so reminiscent of how George Younce used to do! Next was none other than A Wonderful Life itself! “Hey, I gotta do this,” exclaimed Scott Fowler, “What an incredible piano player Channing is! You cannot be a good Southern Gospel group without a piano player, it’s impossible.” He continued to tell how he first saw Trey play with the Lefevers at NQC when he was 17 years old. He told of how Trey has been to Classical Conservatory, so when he went up to Trey and told him to play something, he made sure Trey knew that, “We are at the National Quartet Convention, people here like Southern Gospel Music! – play whatever you want, just as long as it’s southern.” Well, Trey began playing this difficult classical piece and the look on Scott’s face was priceless! The first time Trey paused in his solo, Scott said, “Smart alleck!” The second time, Scott said, “Rule number one, don’t make me look like an idiot!” So, Trey finished off his solo with a good traditional hymn! After the solo, Scott talked about a show that his two boys like to watch on TV about how the universe began, but finds that he has to correct things after they watch it, because it doesn’t always line up with what Scripture says. This tied into the next song that talks about the creation in a way, and is totally politically incorrect according to Fowler! This song is an up-beat number called God Had A Hand In It. “Hey,” Scott said at the close of the previous number,“from Santa Rosa, California – I want you to say hi to our tenor, Gus.” Gus then was featured on the classic For What Earthly Reason. Gus hit a good high note on the end!
A segment called All In The Family was scheduled next. Jason Crabb and the Bowling Family came on stage and did a special song or two together, and Adam (who was also on stage with them) had the first solo playing his harmonica. I’m Glad The Heart Will Never Break Anymore was the first song they sang together, then, Mike Bowling was featured on the first verse of All I Got Is Leaving On My Mind, and Jason took up the second verse. In introduction, Jason said, “Ladies and gentlemen are you glad to have the Bowling Family here tonight? Make them welcome!”
The Bowling Family kicked off their part of the night with the hymn, Unclouded Day, featuring Kelly. The very popular Your Cries Have Awoken The Master was next, and boy did Mike sing this one! “We are so glad to be here with you guys and thank you for letting us be here,” said Kelly. She took a moment to look back on the bus accident last July. She talked about the peace that passes all understanding and how she was in the ambulance while Mike and their daughter were already life-flighted to a hospital. “Money can’t buy that kind of peace, my education can’t buy that kind of peace…and the reason I had that peace on July 1, 2010 in North Carolina is because of God’s love for us!” She turned that thought around to Calvary and introduced a beautiful ballad entitled That’s Why I Still Glory In The Cross. This song was so powerful it just poured off the stage, it was no surprise when they received a standing ovation!
Jason Crabb and his band started his set with a jazzed up version of I Saw the Light. During the early stages of the song, Jason stopped the band and said, “You know what this song needs? – A mass choir!” So he had everyone stand to their feet, brought the Bowling’s back up on stage, and taught everyone the parts to sing with him! “Ya’ll sound good!” Jason said when the song finished, and told of a new video he was a part of with Gaither. Turning to the center of the stage, he instructed his pianist to pick one they did on the video. Beulah Land was selected. Jason invited the crowd to sing the chorus with him too. “Give me another one we did,” said Jason at the close of the previous ballad. Who Am I? – was the next one picked. He and Adam sang the chorus together and asked the audience if they were glad that Adam decided to come and sing with him tonight. That ballad went right into Midnight Cry, which Jason admitted was not “his song,” but he “adopted” it! Jason had everyone clap for the band, and went right into Through The Fire, which immediately brought the crowd to life…and some to their feet.
“I guess you all have heard,” announced Kim Hopper, “but this is the Grammy Award winning Jason Crabb.” While Jason was in LA, he was in the audience during the Price Is Right and the lady who won the showcase showdown told the host that there was a Grammy Award Winner in the crowd. They had him come up and sing something and made mention of his record on the show. Kim stated that God used Jason that day – there had to be a soul touched!
“All our lives we were told to get over stuff, our prayer is that we never get over the Cross.” Eighth Day was the showcase winner and also the group holding the #1 position on the Singing News charts for this month! That same song was the one they chose to sing, May I Never Get Over The Cross.
The last group of the evening that I saw was none other than the Mark Trammell Quartet! With a round of applause for the artist’s appearance, Wedding Music opened their segment. Mark was playing his bass guitar and Gerald accompanied on the keys. As Old Convention Song began and Pat dropped down on those well-loved low notes, it caught my attention, that Mr. Pat Barker is bringing back the double-breasted suits! (Now, you just pay attention the next time you see MTQ…he’ll probably be wearing one!) LOL! Gentle Shepherd calmed things down and set the mood for the powerful closing ballad, It’s Almost Over. Mark set aside his instrument and gave this song his full attention, and before you knew it, the audience was on their feet in a standing ovation! Way to go MTQ ~ ya’ll did it again!