Concert Review: Perrys

Last night, my church hosted the Perrys in concert.  Attendance was great, the lower section of the church was basically full, with a few people up in the balcony.  I’d place the number somewhere between 250-300.  This was my first time to see the group with Bryan Walker, who is a definite asset to the group, and a very personable guy to boot.  Here is their setlist:

  • Every Time I Need Him
  • His Love Lights The Way
  • I Know It Was The Blood
  • He Loves To Save
  • Did I Mention
  • This Old Sinner Testifies
  • Grace Doesn’t Remember
  • I’d Rather Have Jesus/Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  • Celebrate Me Home
  • If You Knew Him

Intermission

  • Blue Skies Coming
  • Living In Canaan Now
  • Nothing Was Burned
  • The Potter Knows The Clay
  • He Will Hide Me
  • Almost Morning
  • Damascus Road

The Perrys hit the stage with great energy, and sang the first six songs on the set list with no “commercial interruption” of any kind.  The crowd was enthusiastic from the start, frequently applauding solo verses and giving prolonged applause at the conclusion of songs.  The Perrys really seemed to feed off of the crowd’s energy, and kept things going the entire night.

Tracy Stuffle handled the lion’s share of the MC work (he is the “talker” of the group, while the others are “singers”, as he says).  When doing group introductions after “This Old Sinner”, Tracy handled them in a way I’d like to see other groups follow.  Tracy would introduce a member, then have them sing a song before moving to the next person.  It’s a good way to maximize the amount of music on the concert while effectively introducing the person to the crowd, a very significant portion of which was seeing the group for the first time.

He introduced Joseph Habedank, and had him share the story behind the writing of “Grace Doesn’t Remember.”  I’m always interested in hearing the story behind the song, and Joseph’s testimony of writing the song is very powerful.  They nailed the song as well, it’s an incredibly powerful song done live.  I continue to be impressed with Joseph’s growth and maturity into a stellar lead vocalist.

Following that song, Tracy introduced Bryan Walker, shared about him being the “Singing Police Officer” on last year’s American Idol, then put him on the spot to sing a couple of songs acappella.  This provided one of the funnier moments of the night, while Bryan was thinking about what to sing, someone in the crowd yelled “You can do it, dawg!”  to which Bryan laughed and replied “Thanks Randy!”  Bryan then launched into “I’d Rather Have Jesus”, and after a verse and chorus, at Tracy’s prompting sang a verse and chorus of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”  Tracy mentioned that got Brownie Points as it is one of Libbi’s favorite songs.  Well it is one of mine as well, so great choice Bryan.  Both hymns really showed what a talented singer he is with these two hymns.

Tracy then called Libbi to the front of the stage and related a very touching testimony about his bout with open heart surgery and the sacrifices that Libbi has made over the past months to accommodate his restricted diet and his exercise requirement.  Their story is one of incredible love and devotion, and serves as a model of what true love and commitment in a marriage looks like.  Libbi then sang the group’s current single, “Celebrate Me Home”, and all the praise heaped on this song is very much warranted.  A great song, a great lyric, and it’s sung by a masterful communicator in Libbi Stuffle.  One of the absolute highlights of the night, followed by another great moment in a powerful rendition of “If You Knew Him.”

After intermission, the group returned to the stage with the title track of their new CD, “Blue Skies Coming”, which brought the same amount of energy as the first part of the concert.  “He Will Hide Me” was spectacular, with Bryan Walker and Joseph Habedank splitting the verses.  The most poignant moment of the concert was the performance of “Almost Morning.”  I requested the song before the concert, and Tracy used it as their invitation, and shared a moving testimony of a recent struggle he has had recovering from all his health issues.  It set the stage perfectly, and Joseph Habedank delivered a wonderful performance of the song.  Shortly after I reviewed the album of the same name, I went through several trials personally, and that song was a great source of comfort and encouragement to me.  It doesn’t have a high ending, no real tricky harmony, but it’s a powerful lyric, beautiful melody, and Habedank sings it expertly.  Tracy had him sing another verse and chorus acappella as an altar call.  It was a moving and powerful moment.  They left the stage with a stinging version of “Damascus Road.”

The Perrys have been riding on the crest of the SG circuit for several years now, and they show no signs of slowing down.  In fact, the current line up with Joseph Habedank and Bryan Walker joining the Stuffles as the potential to be the strongest lineup the group has ever had.  Habedank and Walker’s voices complement each other very well, and as I said in my review of Blue Skies, it will be interesting to hear their next recording when they are able to take advantage of songs that are chosen to fit Walker’s vocal strengths.  An evening with the Perrys is an evening of high energy, exceptional quality singing, and moving testimonies that are interspersed at just the right amount and at the right intervals.  If they are in your area, do yourself a favor and go see them.  You’ll miss and enjoyable concert experience and a tremendous blessing if you don’t.

Photos:

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About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

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