We had the Crist Family last night at my church in concert. The crowd was decent, at probably 100-150, which is not bad considering this was the Crist Family’s first appearance in the Memphis area, so they didn’t have a lot of drawing power. I dare say after last night, that will change. Here is the set list (thanks Rich, I’ll do better next time!):
- I’ve Come A Long Way
- All I Ever Need
- When I Get Carried Away
- The Anchor Holds
- Joy’s Gonna Come In The Morning
- Livin’ With The Light On
- I Must Tell Jesus (acappella)
- Jesus Hold My Hand
- I Know Why
- We Have A Hope
- Great Beyond
- Wonder Working Power
- In The Shadow Of The Cross
- He Looked Beyond My Faults (acappella)
- Lift Up The Cross
- Oh Happy Day
I was particularly anxious for this concert, this was a group I really found on a whim (you might remember my blog post here), and though I’d heard their 3 mainline releases, I’d never had the opportunity to hear them live. I was particularly interested to hear how well they pull off the tight harmonies on their acappella numbers live. Let me say up front, this group was just as impressive live as they were when I first had a chance to listen to their CDs. Musically they were dead on, and one of, if not the biggest highlight of the concert, was when Rich stopped the track to “I Must Tell Jesus” and instead, they put their mics up, walked in front of the stage, and sang it acappella with no sound system. You’ll see a picture of it below. It was absolutely incredible. “I Know Why” is just as beautiful in concert as it is on CD, which I featured as a Hidden Gem. “Lift Up The Cross” is a big time song, and these guys (and girls) absolutely own it. They all have a very confident command of the stage, and their dedication to their craft is very evident.
“He Looked Beyond My Faults” deserves some special mention as well. Their live version is a bit shortened from the recorded one, but it is no less impressive, as the vocal arpeggios behind the lead vocal are still astounding. The complex harmonies this group can pull off are amazing. They didn’t perform it during the concert, but they sang “Heaven To Me” during soundcheck and even nailed the jazz chord at the end of it. Looking over the 16 song set list from the night, there wasn’t a weak spot in the concert, and they have a particulary soulful rendition of “Oh Happy Day”, reminiscent of the early-mid 70’s era Imperials.
I also got a special “sneak-peek” listen at some cuts from the Crist Family’s new CD, due out in April. This upcoming CD, much like The Dills’ latest, is really going to raise the bar for this group. Their new radio single, releasing in the next week or so, is very good, and there are several great cuts, including an acappella version of the old CCM classic “More Than Wonderful”, and Jackie Crist gets a nice smooth Allison Krauss-type song that Rich said is a front runner for the second single. Be watching for this one to release, it will be VERY strong.
The Crist Family know what they’re doing, and know Who they are singing about. I can think of no better way to extend an invitation than with a song like “Lift Up The Cross”. Lisa Crist’s testimony about losing her mother to cancer at just 47 years old was very touching, as was Rich Crist’s testimony about God’s restoration of their family. If you are fortunate enough to have the Crist Family appearing in your area, please go! These guys put on a great concert, and you’ll really miss a blessing if you miss it! Thanks Crists for a great concert, and a great service, we hope to have you back again soon!