Every seat in the Main Street Music Hall was sold on Saturday night…as it was last year. The Booth Brothers were the featured artist for the closing night of the Great Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing and 1000 fans were in their seats and ready to go when Todd Foreman walked on stage. After the regular announcements and his mini devotional, the fans were ready to be launched into a night of singing, comedy and most likely a little preaching. Then, one of the ushers ambled down the aisle waving his arm trying to get Todd’s attention. One of the church buses was late getting in…again…and so they had 50+ people they had to seat and asked to delay the concert until these folks were seated. Todd said okay and began making random announcements trying to “fill” the time. I looked at the time on my phone – it was already ten minutes past the time they were scheduled to begin for the night and they were delaying even more. I felt sorry for Todd because he didn’t know what to say and told the crowd as much. So for ten to fifteen minutes we sat and listened to him tell jokes and try and tease folks, all of which came in the most unnatural flow.
Finally, the word came that the concert could begin. Immediately, Todd introduced the Booth Brothers and had them on stage singing a medium temp song that I think is called Child of the King. “It’s good to see you guys!” Ronnie hollered to the crowd after their first tune, “This is a song that goes way back, written by the Imperials, you’ll probably recognize it.” A snappy track began and the Booths sang Sail On. “We love coming here,” said Michael, “Let’s get things started off right and sing about Jesus.” He went on to point out the great theology to their version of In Christ Alone – which they sang next. Because He Lives followed and then Michael poked some fun at some of the things that Todd had said while he was entertaining the crowd a little while ago. “Thank you for letting us sing alone,” he teased, “I didn’t know that was in our contract. Mark Trammell must have wrote that.” Not missing a beat, someone from the crowd shouted, “HE LOVES YOU!” Michael responded, “That’s a strange love. I hear he had a lot to say last night.” LOL Turning the program back to singing, he set Ronnie up to sing Masterpiece of Mercy. The soothing tones of, “He knew what I was when He made me…” filled the theater. A Gaither tune, I’m Free and then All Over the World, the Southern Gospel Samba, were next. On the Samba Todd and his two boys came dancing across the stage with a giant stuffed pink monkey (life sized!) Afterwards, Todd popped back out on stage and said to the guys, “That wouldn’t have happened but it’s your fault because they took all the seats (backstage). Do you have any idea how hard it is to have ADD and sit still back there?” Michael raised his eyebrows at the crowd and replied, “Actually, I do.” Todd left and then Michael talked about how they have two new CDs coming out as Ronnie tuned his guitar. Finished, Michael said to him, “You really didn’t need to do that.” Ronnie looked confused, “You have to tune every guitar.” Michael replied, “Aaron Wilburn said that it was a Baptist guitar and therefore once tuned, always tuned.” Then he flashed the crowd a satisfactory grin. Ronnie laughed, “Well, this one’s backslidden.” Ronnie continued to tell their father’s testimony and they sang The Secret Place. “What a sweet message in that song,” said Jim as he continued to tell the story behind another great lyric. I See Grace and Feeling Mighty Fine followed with a standing O. “Oh good! They’re sitting down,” exclaimed Michael. “When we were young we used to say ‘oh, they’re standing,’ and we would run across the stage. Now we think about it. We have to make a choice – are we gonna run, or are we gonna sing? Cause we’re not doing both!” LOL Michael continued, “We complicate this living like a Christian thing. Why don’t we just enjoy our relationship with Jesus Christ? He’s given us a book so we can get to know Him – that’s not complicated.” They ended their first set with Dear Jesus Abide With Me and Then I Met the Master. (Standing ovation again!)
The second set began with He Saw It All and Look For Me – that second one generated immediate applause. After a drawing for the event that Melissa Brady is putting on Michael asked the crowd if the First Baptist of Lebanon was there. A lady cried, “Yes!” Michael replied, “Hey, I get that at home!” LOL Then they explained to the audience that the church requested a photo with the group and they figured that wouldn’t happen afterwards so they hopped off stage for a few minutes and asked the group to stand – they posed in front and one of the guys that travel with the BB’s took the pic for them. Back on stage, they gathered around one mic and sang Since Jesus Came to Live Inside of Me. I Played in the Band and We Believe followed. Before the evening came to an end Michael encouraged those who may be struggling to believe that God’s promises are meant for them too. He said, “It’s one thing to tell it and it’s another thing to look in the mirror and believe that it’s for me. Just get to know Him – it’s not our job to ‘get it’ – it’s our job to read it and be humble.” Then they closed with Through It All.
Conclusion: I always enjoy seeing the Booth Brothers. Especially in full concert – it’s not something we get to enjoy very often because most of the time we see them at sings where they do shorter sets. So I applaud Lake of the Ozarks for bringing in a group and letting them have the whole evening. I do wish that they didn’t delay the start time though – two completely different buses being late two out of three nights – there’s no use in getting 900 people upset over it by starting late. There’s no reason why the BB’s couldn’t have started singing while the people came in. The theater could keep the lights up and they most likely wouldn’t have missed but two or three songs. Anyway, The Great Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing had a great year in Osage Beach for 2014 and I for one enjoyed it!