We would all agree that attending concerts is fun. Music, laughter, and jokes from favorite artists encourage your spirit and push everyday worries to the back of your mind, allowing you to relax and enjoy a great time with other Believers. On the other hand, there is nothing that can match attending a concert with friends. You make memories and deepen your friendship, sometimes you get to introduce your friends to new music and artists, but most of all, you get a glimpse of the evening through the eyes of another as you sit beside them and hear their whispered “amen” and see nods of acknowledgment. There is nothing quite like it! A few weeks ago, the Talley’s came to Lebanon, Missouri as the guests of Truelove Quartet –and I had the opportunity to take some friends with me…it was an evening that I’m not going to easily forget!…and I’m glad that I was able to share it with someone else.
The concert was scheduled to start at seven o’clock. We arrived at Calvary Baptist around six thirty… and with one look at the parking lot we were very worried that the concert may have started sooner! The lot was PACKED!!! After attempting to drop our party off at the door, we were advised by a kind gentlemen from the church to just park where we were because we couldn’t get our big SUV out easily, and even if we did, there was no were else to park! So, taking the lead from other cars, we were in the row that boxed everybody else in! LOL! (Now that I think about it, that would have made a great picture for this post! I’ll keep that in mind next time!) Our next challenge was finding a seat in the sanctuary … that was already full. I walked down the middle isle trying to find some empty seats and I couldn’t help but smile – it’s been a while since I’ve saw a church that full for a gospel concert! Well, I guess it’s a good thing that no one likes sitting on the front row, because that is where we ended up! Though, by the time the concert started it was no longer the first row anymore…two rows of chairs were added between that row and the stage and folding chairs lined the isles as well. So, not only were the cars in the parking lot boxed in – the fans in the church were too! LOL! I couldn’t help but be amazed at the turn out, fans just kept walking in! We knew we were in for an exceptional night!
When Darrell Pollock (of Truelove Quartet) stood up to announce that the evening was about to begin, he said, “This is the part where I usually have you stand, but I’m not going to ask you to do that tonight…if you stand, you’ll lose your seat!”
The Truelove Quartet’s first track kicked off and everyone began clapping to the beat before they even began singing! The snappy tune was Nothing’s Too Big For My God, giving Darrell a solo on the verse. He would have sung the second verse also, but Chris was too quick for him. J Keeping things up-beat, Jesse Carter was featured on another fast number called I Love Loving Jesus. Applause echoed off the walls as the last note was sung, and then the group huddled together in the center of the stage to sing a hymn, There Is A Fountain. The last line of the verse generated many shouts of “Praise the Lord” and applause. “Isn’t that the truth?”asked Darrell when they finished the hymn. Darrell introduced Wayne Truelove, bass singer and founder of their ministry, and then Chris introduced his solo by saying how thankful he was for Jesus…because he’s no longer lost. His ballad, Keeper of the Lost and Found echoed those thoughts as well. A good ole’ classic came next – We Shall Wear A Robe and Crown! The audience was really into this one and clapped the entire way through it! Darrell and Jesse shared verses of I Want My Stage To Be An Alter, and then Chris invited the audience to sing God Is So Good with them accapella. Darrell was featured again on a song that SGM fans are very familiar with and never tire of hearing, Midnight Cry. Just to prove it, the crowd was very responsive to this song. A bluesy medium tempo number ended Truelove’s set, He’s Good All the Time, sung by Chris and Jesse.
The Talley’s were introduced as the featured artists of the night and were welcomed warmly by the audience. Roger took a seat at his keyboard and Debra stood center stage as the main vocalist while Lauren stood to the side on their first song – Amazing Grace. When Debra came to the second verse, she proclaimed, “And this is where He’s brought me from.” (I couldn’t help but notice that the choice for the first song was a ballad. Most groups begin their concerts with a fast and/or convention song that gets the crowd excited, but the Talley’s didn’t do that with this concert. And what they did was perfect – Amazing Grace produced the effect that they wanted, a powerful beginning.) A song that is one of my fav’s came next, it’s called Good Things. The crowd liked it too, and everyone clapped along. I love the line that says, “All you have to do is just believe!” Their current radio single, Hands of Grace, followed. Lauren stepped up the edge of the stage with a big smile, “I’ll tell you what! I love to see every spot in the parking lot full and I love seeing every seat full!” She continued to say that for the last few months, they have been singing as a foursome instead of a trio because they added her husband as a vocalist. However, that night, her husband Brian was at home and in bed with the flu! So they went back to being a triothat evening. While Lauren caught us up on all that has been happening with the Talley’s, she introduced her father, Roger, who introduced his wife, Debra, who introduced Lauren. When Debra was telling us about Lauren, the audience applauded something that she said, so Debra paused and addressed the crowd with a little surprise in her voice, “There is more life in this church than the last five we’ve been in!” LOL! Back to introducing Lauren, Debra let us know that, “If you have talent, you can teach someone to sing – but you can’t give them a heart to do it.” It only takes seeing Lauren sing one song to know that she indeed has the heart to sing. Lauren was featured next on a story song that was taken right from the Bible, it was, There’s A Promise Coming Down That Dusty Road. At the songs close, Lauren asked, “Anybody got an oxygen tank out there they’re not using?” – while catching her breath. For the last month they have been successful in passing around a sickness on the bus. By the course it was taking, Roger should be next! LOL! The song that they were getting ready to sing just then was one that they have been performing for the last five years. A song called, The Broken Ones. “The world outside these church walls,” Lauren gently reminded us, “is a lost, hurting, and a dying world. What an impact we can have on that world if we’d just look around and see who we could touch.” As Lauren sang that ballad not a person stirred in the room, it was very captivating. At the end, Lauren quoted the verse that says, “Jesus said, ‘If you’ve done it unto these the least my brethren, you have also done it unto me.” And I’ll tell ya, the Spirit just filled that auditorium!!! Roger was featured on the next song, which was also a ballad, called My Hope Is in the Lord. He put everything he had into it! Everyone was clearly wound up after that so they kept the energy flowing with Mountain Mover. As an introduction, Roger tied the two together saying, “Aren’t you glad we have hope tonight? It doesn’t matter what it is…we have a God who can handle any situation. Our God is a Mountain Mover!” It only took the crowd a few seconds to begin clapping along. “Now, ya’ll that was good,” said Roger, “Ya’ll have restored my faith.” He went on to explain of how he always gets nervous when they sing that song in a Baptist Church. He even admitted that he usually waits until after the offering to sing it, but since there was no offering tonight – they thought they would just do it! He continued to tell us that their family likes to sing a lot of different styles of music. In his own words, as example, he said, “I get sick of eating Vanilla Ice Cream all the time, ya’ know, you have to switch it up every once in a while with some chocolate, mint, etc…” So, their next song slipped back in time to the 40’s style, where music was lush and smooth – I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say. On the turn around, Roger tried to entice Debbie to dance with him, but she quickly exclaimed, “What are you doing! Quit! We can’t do that in church! – You know what your mama said, ‘A dancing foot and a praying knee don’t belong on the same leg! You just remember that!’” LOL! Debra shared with us that they were in Union City, TN the previous night and her parents were able to come see them sing. Her parents are ages 87 and 76 (I think I have that right!) She sang a special song for them called, Thinking ‘Bout Home, and she sang it for us too. The next number had to be the monumental part of the night. If you guessed it had something to do with a song called He’s Alive – you’re right! When Lauren sang this song, well, it just brought the house down! There were shouts, “amens,” and applause – it was just a powerful setting. “Are you glad He’s alive?” Roger asked with a shout. Someone from the audience called out, “If that don’t get your fire goin’ – your wood’s wet.” What could follow that? – Lauren did it best. She simply shared with the audience how the Lord has been working in her life. Lauren wrote a book that contains her experiences and things that she has learned from God’s Word, it is called Songs In the Night. (I did a book review of this one last year and highly recommend it!) As the track for the next song began, Lauren gave the copy that she was holding to a lady in the front row. (How sweet!) All of this set up for a slow song by the title of If He Carried the Weigh of the World, which talks about our burdens and how the Lord is more than able to bear them if we would just leave them at His feet. At that time, the Pastor came up and gave the invitation which lasted a few minutes. Afterward, the Talley’s told about the product that they have for sale and did a drawing. I was disappointed that the concert was coming to a close, especially when they asked the audience if they wanted to hear one more song. Though I’m sure everyone probably wanted to hear more like four or five, they received a hearty reply. The final song of the evening was Somebody Ought To Testify. Everyone was on their feet in no time! After an encore, Roger closed the concert in prayer, and sadly, the concert concluded.
Conclusion: What can I say about a night like that? It’s hard to put it into words! First of all, the Talley’s were amazing. Though I was a little disappointed that they couldn’t be a “foursome” that night because of Brian’s illness, Roger, Debra and Lauren put on a stellar performance anyway. The song selection couldn’t have been better! – They kept singing hit after hit after hit! They also had a good crowd that night – and with a sanctuary full and overflowing, the energy among the fans was high too. You could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room and the love of Christ flowing from the stage. The experience was like none other. I attend many concerts put on by the Truelove Quartet, and can honestly say, that so far, this one has had the highest attendance I’ve seen! Most of all, the Gospel was presented, souls were encouraged and lives were touched. Thanks to all the Talley’s for reminding us that our Hope Is In The Lord!