http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/357132

Review: Amy Grant mesmerizes fans at Irving Plaza show in New York City Special

Posted Aug 26, 2013 by Markos Papadatos
On August 23, Christian music sensation and six-time Grammy winner Amy Grant performed at Irving Plaza in New York City, backed by her seven-piece band.
Gospel music sensation Amy Grant
Gospel music sensation Amy Grant
Photo Courtesy of Jim Wright
She commenced her set with “You’re Not Alone” and she accompanied herself on acoustic guitar on “Takes a Little Time.”
“I have never played in a stand-up club,” she said, prior to singing a few verses of “Father’s Eyes,” where she had the audience singing along with her.
“You guys are good,” Grant added complimenting the Irving Plaza crowd.
After singing “Find a Way,” she noted that she loves songs in the 1980s due to their lengthy guitar solos and subsequently revealed that she and her band played in Virginia the previous night, and she had told her fans that they could use their previous night’s ticket if they wanted to drive all the way to New York City, and three of those fans took her up on that offer.
Grant shared that the story idea for her latest single “If I Could See (What The Angels See)” originated at Nashville’s airport when an attendant had asked her for her boarding pass and her driver’s license, and he subsequently asked her her, without looking her in the eye, “Are you that old gospel singer named Amy Grant?”
That incident inspired her to record new music and she encouraged her New York fans, many of which are songwriters themselves, to keep on making music.
“It’s so weird to see a smoke-free environment,” she said. “I’m sure this club never dreamt that the air would be so clean.”
Grant dedicated the soothing “Saved By Love” to her sister Carol who also happens to be a great friend of hers, and that she changed Carol’s name to “Laura” in the song.
In “Everywhere I Go,” she had her fans waving their hands in the air and swaying with her. Vince Gill’s daughter (and Grant’s step-daughter), Jenny Gill, sang the high harmonies on this song and nailed them.
Veteran vocalist Tabitha Fair joined Grant and her band on “Every Heartbeat,” which proved to be a fun sing-along.
She continued with two new tunes, the uplifting “Our Time is Now” and “Don’t Try So Hard” from her latest studio album “How Mercy Looks From Here,” both of which showcases her lilting vocals.
In “Oh How the Years Go By,” the stage was graced in yellow and pink lights.
Grant noted that while she recorded the song “Here” in the studio, she held her best friend’s baby girl who was a few weeks old and that baby did not shed a tear throughout the duration of that song.
The gospel songstress sang “Third World Woman” as her stage was graced in blue and pine green lights and shared that her inspiration for this tune came from watching television.
She went on to introduce the rest of her band, which she considers “friends.”
Grant continued with “Free” and she took her fans on a trip down memory lane with her multi-week No. 1 pop hit “Baby Baby,” where Tabitha Fair returned to sing with her group.
It was followed by the worship hymn “Sing Your Praise to the Lord,” as well as “Better Than a Hallelujah” and she immediately broke into the highlight vocal of the evening, “Thy Word.”
Her rendition of “Thy Word” was controlled, stunning and acoustic, with minimal instrumentation, and she allowed the audience to sing it back to her in the end.
“Man, that was pretty,” Grant said in awe of the audience’s singing, and sang a tender version of “El Shaddai.”
She sang a medley that included such songs as “Jesus Loves Me,” “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love” and “Helping Hand.”
Grant closed her set with “Emmanuel,” which displayed her range as an artist, as well as “Love of Another Kind,” where Tabitha made another vocal cameo.
The Verdict
Overall, Amy Grant put on a beautiful and heart-felt set at Irving Plaza. Her vocals were warm and mellifluous and her storytelling ability was exquisite. She was able to sing brand new material from her new record, as well as dust off a few classics and make them sound fresh again.
Grant has been dubbed as the “Queen of Christian music,” and that title certainly still holds true based on her performance last night at Irving Plaza. She garners an A rating for this show and she is highly recommended seeing live whenever she is in an area near you.
For more information on Amy Grant and her music, visit her official website.