Concert Review: Greater Vision

Greater Vision was in concert last night at my church, East Memorial Baptist in Prattville, AL. Turnout was pretty good, my guess is about 500 or so in attendance, maybe more. Heaven’s Harmony, a mixed quartet based in our church, opened the concert with two songs before Greater Vision hit the stage.

Set List:

  • Search Me Lord (Heaven’s Harmony)
  • Happy Rhythm (Heaven’s Harmony)
  • You Were Faithful Yesterday
  • Walls Come Down
  • Paid In Full Through Jesus Amen
  • For All He’s Done
  • Why Me Lord
  • He’d Still Been God
  • I Know A Man Who Can
  • God Doesn’t Care
  • My Name Is Lazarus
  • Still

Intermission

  • Put Out The Fire
  • Rolled Back Stone
  • The Lighthouse
  • I Know He Heard My Prayer
  • God Is So Good
  • God Wants To Hear You Sing

It had been quite a while since I had seen Greater Vision in concert, and this was my first time to see Jon Epley along with Gerald Wolfe, Rodney Griffin, and Chris Allman. They sang for about an hour and a half, and focused on well known songs from the group’s long history. GV has long been one of Southern Gospel’s top trios, and last night’s concert was a prime example. Their vocals are superb, the concert was paced very well, and Gerald had a great rapport with the audience as an emcee. It’s very obvious the influence of George Younce on Gerald’s emcee style, but to his credit Gerald does not attempt to imitate his former boss, but rather has his own style.

Jon Epley was featured on two songs, Why Me Lord and The Lighthouse. He did a great job on both songs, and really brings a fresh sound to the group’s blend. Especially in his mid and lower register, he has a sound reminiscent of Mark Lanier, the former baritone for Perfect Heart. Jon is a true baritone, much like Mark, and adds a fullness and depth to the sound of the group that it had never had before. He really fits in well with the group.

Chris Allman continues to shine in his role as the group’s tenor. He has such a smooth and clear voice, and provided a couple of highlights of the concert on For All He’s Done and I Know A Man. He has continued to bring an added dimension to GV with his songwriting, as his material has a different feel than Rodney’s. I really enjoy Chris being back with Greater Vision.

Speaking of Rodney Griffin, he is a model of consistency, both with his songwriting and his vocal abilities. Vocally he sounds the same now as he did 20 years ago. While he is frequently the target of Gerald’s jokes and plays the role of goof very well, he also shared a very touching testimony about his father in law and God’s faithfulness.

Gerald played piano and served as the emcee for the evening. He only sang on one song, a great arrangement of I Know He Heard My Prayer that is more of a traditional power ballad as opposed to the oft imitated Statesmen arrangement. I Know was definitely the biggest highlight of the night. I definitely miss hearing Gerald sing, especially on the big ballads like There Is A River or Till The Storm Passes By.

Greater Vision has really been a consistent group since Griffin joined 25 years ago, and even with Wolfe stepping away from vocal duties and Epley coming on board to handle the baritone spot that consistency is still present. Their blend is very smooth, and has seemingly gotten more so with Epley. Their material is top notch, though I will say I was a bit surprised at how much the set list was weighted toward their older material. Epley really seems to have found a nice niche and home with GV, and as he continues to grow into his role, I’ll be interested to see how their sound and arrangements evolve. If they are in your area, do yourself a favor and go see them. Tonight was a great night of worship and singing with a top tier group. Thanks guys for a very enjoyable night!

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Concert Reminder: Greater Vision

Just a quick reminder for any readers in the Birmingham or Montgomery area that Greater Vision is singing at my church, East Memorial Baptist in Prattville, AL tomorrow evening. Concert starts at 5:30. No admission, a love offering will be taken.

Everything Changes, and an Upcoming Concert

Greetings from the great state of Alabama! It’s been quite a while since I posted anything here, so let’s catch up!

You will of course notice I said the state of Alabama, and you may recall from previous concert reviews that I lived in the Memphis area. That all changed late last year as I took a new job and moved my family from the Memphis, TN area to the Montgomery, AL area.

New job, new house, new church, but through it all God has been faithful and blessed us beyond what we deserve. We miss family and friends in TN, but we are very happy in our new home.

As a means of getting back into this thing called blogging, any of my readers in the Montgomery or Birmingham areas, let me invite you to a concert this Sunday night at our new church. Greater Vision is in concert at East Memorial Baptist Church in Prattville, AL at 5:30 PM this Sunday evening, August 5. A concert review will follow on the blog for the first time in quite a while. Come out and enjoy a night of gospel music!

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