Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Israel Houghton - in Concert

I don't get terribly excited about many musicians. I love music and I love listening to the good stuff, but I don't invest a ton of time falling 'in love' with musicians. I've never been a big concert-goer type of person - not a fan of crowds, in my past the music was never as good live as it was on the album, things have gotten really expensive nowadays, just not a fan.

I've seen very few great concerts - the last was Green Day - I only went because Max was desperate to see them. I wasn't excited, but it was honestly the best show I'd ever seen.

So, there it is. I've probably seen more Christian musicians in concert than anything else and some of those have been pretty entertaining. I remember going to hear Petra in the 70s. Mom took me to Des Moines. I loved it! She was just plain shocked. It was good for her. She actually took me to quite a few concerts, now that I think of it. Goodness, she was a good mom.

Back to the reason for the post.

Last fall, I saw that Israel Houghton was going to be touring with Chris Tomlin. Here was someone I was ready to drop everything to see in concert. I discovered his music by chance one day at Parables. I listened to a couple of tracks on the New Breed CD and nearly fell into a lump. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! The most amazing music and no one was really into his stuff. I bought it, and then bought the next CD. And he was so smart, he immediately published charts to go along with his CDs! Well-written charts! I bought those too.

When Jennie came onto staff as the worship director, I had to share. Her mouth dropped and we had to figure out how to make this music happen. She knew just the right people to build the band and off we went. Incredible, amazing music began happening in worship.

I've been waiting a long time to hear Israel in concert and tonight was the night. I didn't think he would ever show up in Omaha. Alright, he showed up in Council Bluffs. He asked the crowd tonight how many had never heard of him. An awful lot of hands went up. I am so thankful that he is on tour with Chris Tomlin so that he gets exposure. Because what I began hearing around me was sighs of joy as his voice soared through the auditorium. Thousands of people are being exposed to the worship style that he offers.

I cried through most of his set. I couldn't believe that I was fortunate to actually be there ... finally ... after all these years. I'm an old white lady who loves his rhythms, chord structures, deep soul sounds more than anything. If I think about it too much, I will start crying again (it's what I do).

If you haven't experienced much of his music - just go to youtube.com. You'll recognize a bunch of his stuff - you've sung it in worship. But, let me tell you ... ain't noone leading it like this man can!

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