I’d like to emphasize the word “summer” in this post. It was over 100 degrees in Springfield, Missouri as fans lined up outside of Remington’s on a Friday night for a concert with the Talleys and Tribute Quartet. Me? – I was not among them! LOL I didn’t have a problem with grabbing a quick bite to eat and hanging out in Subway (with the A/C) across the street until the doors opened at the concert hall and the line died down. Then, my family and our Jamaican friends from church headed over and walked into the venue and beheld the concert buzz. Remington’s is a big, open building, complete with a stage and lots of folding chairs. My sister found a seat on the front row, but the rest of our group sat together towards the back in the center. Both artists had their product table set up in the auditorium, along the edge of the folding chairs. As streams of fans kept coming in and filling the seats, one thing was obvious – the A/C either wasn’t working or wasn’t on! It was miserably HOT!
Our hosts for the evening consisted of different DJ’s from KWFC, the SGM radio station out of Springfield. Before the night began, the NQC Highlights video played on the big screens and there were a lot of announcements. Finally, a 60 second countdown flashed on the big screens and Dave Taylor exclaimed, “Give a big southwest Missouri welcome to Nashville’s Tribute Quartet!”
With a jerk the lights turned down and Tribute walked on stage and opened with He Is Leading The Way. From where I was sitting in the back center, the guys looked like toy soldiers they were so small! The high energy song was encored, though not many clapped along, I think they audience was more concerned about fanning themselves instead of clapping! LOL Nevertheless, there were many shouts to make up for it as Tribute held their final note. Immediately following, Josh stepped up and began the first verse of More Than Able, which also features Anthony on the second verse. Before they went into It Makes Me Wanna Go, Gary asked the crowd about having a good time that night. The heat must have dulled the crowd’s senses because a dead silence was his reply. On the other hand, the stage lights behind the guys began to dance as they sang their up-beat quartet tune. “Thank you so much, aren’t you thankful for the radio station bringing in gospel music?” Gary asked after the crowd’s applaud died down. “Well, we are from Nashville, Tennessee, and are so glad to be in Springfield, Missouri!” Quickly, Gary introduced the members of Tribute, placing special emphasis on their tenor, Riley Clark, because it was his birthday! He turned 21 that Friday! “The only problem is,” Gary shared with the audience, “he still looks like he’s 14 years of age!” Riley rolled his eyes at Gary’s comment as the crowd shouted out their B-day wishes. When You Look For Me, a good ole’ song showing off their bass singer, Anthony, came next. He just keeps sounding better and better! Gary made a comment about enjoying those old songs and asked, “How many want to hear old red play something on the piano?” Josh tore up his keyboard with a Jazzy rendition of I’ll Fly Away – shouts of encouragement echoed throughout the building. “How ‘bout it? Did you enjoy it?” Gary asked as the music for Sweeter As The Days Go By played, and Josh was featured on the verses that followed. “Let me ask you a question tonight,” Gary probed, introducing the next song, “has God been faithful to you?” A song that Gary Casto penned with Brian Alvey called That’s Why I Love Him So came next. On the last chorus, Gary asked the audience to sing with them, and many voices joined theirs as the lyrics filled the room in a sweet sound. Yet, the words that followed were sweeter still…Homecoming Day. This ballad features Riley and even though the heat was unbearable, he still sang his heart out! Before the final note was even in sight the audience rose to their feet and Gary shouted, “Somebody praise the Lord tonight!” All eyes were riveted on Gary as he went on to lead everyone singing There Is Coming A Day. “Friend,” Gary shared, “I’m looking forward to the day when I won’t have to worry about what my neighbor thinks of me when I raise my hands. When we won’t have to worry about these sick bodies, or how we’re going to pay the bills on Monday morning – but, when the only thing we’ll have to worry about is if we’re covered by the blood of the Lamb!” Gary’s voice rose with every line, but when the climax was reached, he abruptly stopped and Josh lifted his hands from the piano, dropping the volume in the room to the crowds soft vocals singing “when no tears will brim our eyes…” The effect was stunning. Inside The Gate followed. I love seeing the guys sing this song, because, if you’ve been to a Tribute concert, you know when the track ends they come off the stage and sing the chorus accapella – walking around the aisles. Even though the auditorium was a good size with a very high ceiling, they did this at Remington’s too. As they came down the first aisle, Gary said, “I don’t think anyone heard that,” and sang the line again noticeably louder. Since we were sitting on the front row of the second section in the back, they walked right across our aisle singing Inside The Gates. The harmony and power in which these four men sang commanded the attention of all. They walked down the other side and finished the tune still standing on the floor. This small gesture received a standing ovation of its own and the best applause of the night! Gary asked, “How many is gonna’ meet us inside?” Their final song, I’m In That Crowd of Believers, signaled another standing ovation and a lot of applause!
The guys walked off the stage and Jeff Steele prayed over the offering before intermission. They also honored the Vets in the audience with a big applause for their dedication for keeping our country.
When the second set began it was time for the Talleys to shine! They kicked off their half of the evening with an up-beat tune called Good Things and a new song Talk To The Lord About It. Roger asked everyone to snap their fingers on the second one while Debra sang the verses. “Well, how’s everybody in Springfield?” Laruen asked before singing Promise Coming Down That Dusty Road. “Our family is so glad to be back in Springfield, it’s been awhile,” she said…“we’ve missed you all.” Lauren introduced her family, noting that her husband, Brian, was at home that weekend working on some things. When she went to introduce her mom, Debra, she asked her if it was okay to tell the crowd how long she has been singing. Well, Debra wasn’t too enthusiastic about that, but caved into her daughter’s request in the end. Debra Talley has been singing for 38 years, and Lauren said that she’s very proud of that! They performed another new song that featured Roger, called Every Scar. Afterwards, Lauren asked, “Isn’t that a great song?” Roger took a minute to share with everyone how he began in SGM, he said, “I was raised on a farm and worked on a farm until I met Claude Hopper – I’ve been in Gospel Music ever since.” Then he went on to tell a joke, I’m sure many have heard it before, but it was so funny that night I have to repeat it! Roger said that they were victims of “identity theft” a while ago. Someone got a hold of Debra’s credit card, but as time went on, he figured out that the lady who was using it was spending less money than Debra, so he let her keep it! Roger thought that was so funny he turned to give Lauren a high five – who, shook her head no, obviously unimpressed. LOL Roger continued, “Well, Gary Casto told a big one so I figured I could too!” After the joking around, Debra stepped forward and gave an update on how her dad was doing. He is 85, and collapsed with congestive heart failure and was on a ventilator in the hospital. When that happened, Debra requested prayer for her father via Twitter, and now he is off the ventilator and doing fine! “I’m thankful that I can call on His name and he hears the cries of my heart,” Debra said, and then continued on to sing one of the greatest songs of the church – Amazing Grace. When Debra finished her solo, it was time for Laruen to sing hers – The Broken Ones. This one she combined with Orphans of God. After, she shared that when she came in that night, she had about 50 requests for the Broken Ones. “If you are depending on anything else in this world for peace – you’re in for a disappointment. I’m glad to tell you tonight that my hope is in the Lord,” Lauren said. Roger sang a ballad by the same name, My Hope Is In The Lord. A song that I recognized as an old Gold City tune rang in my ears, Surely Goodness and Mercy. The crowd responded well to this one, clapping along. As I mentioned before, it was stifling hot in there, and sadly, no one in our group was really enjoying themselves anymore, so we decided to leave. It was getting late, the heat zapped us of our energy and no one wanted to drive home! LOL
Conclusion: Well, I bet you’ve never expect to read that before – Lynn leaving a concert before it’s over! Alas, tis true! You know it’s pretty bad when you walk outside the building to cool off…LOL But to give a fair assessment of the night, both groups were wonderful. They really were. As we know, not all Gospel Sings run smoothly – when ya’ go to one, you’re out for an adventure because you never know what’s going to happen! A couple of hundred people, plus no A/C…well, that’s definitely in the adventure category! Whew! I’m sweating just thinking about it! On a lighter note, I loved seeing the Talley’s perform their new songs live and I always look forward to seeing Tribute any time I can – those guys are just great!