Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Gaithers

It's been 24 hours and I think my ears are still ringing. Concerts can do that to you.

I got hooked on Gaither Vocal Band concerts back in college. That would be...more than ten years ago. Back then, we really went to see Mark Lowry - comedian. We were probably the youngest people in the coliseum. The Gaithers don't exactly attract youth. That's evident as soon as you get close to the concert location.

Last night we came down a hill and to a stop right outside the coliseum. Since no one was in the left lane, we decided to bypass all the large, elderly cars moving at a snail's pace and use the other lane. Of course we quickly discovered that the reason no one was using that lane is because once you get through the traffic light, you can't turn around and come back. No U turns and One Way streets sent us on a scenic tour of the surrounding area. Welcome to downtown. But then, we made a left turn that led right up to a parking garage where we had our pick of spots on the second floor. I don't know where everyone else parked, but apparently not in the deck next to the coliseum.

Worried that we were late, we passed two or three other groups in a race to the door. A lady with a gun (I think) looked in my purse and then we were allowed to enter. I was afraid she was going to ask for my AARP membership card. Ironically, the entrance to our seats was straight ahead. Down about 15 rows, I spotted my parents and our two empty seats almost right away.

Smack dab in the middle of a very long row.

Eight kind strangers balanced their pretzels, drinks, and nachos as they graciously stood to let us pass. As we sat down I became very aware of all the white and bald heads. Everywhere. We were surrounded. People walking around on the floor level had walkers, and the people in front of us had binoculars. I was trying to remember if I really liked the Gaither Homecoming concerts or if this was just the growing old Christian thing to do.

But when the music started, I forgot who was around me and remembered why I came. The first lady sang about joy. I loved the song and was hooked. The Isaacs were there, and oh. my. goodness. I cannot even describe the music they created with just their voices. Unbelievable. Signature Sound was the same way. And David Phelps. And the Gaither Vocal Band. And on and on. I had a little jealousy in my heart that God didn't give me a singing voice - it just looked like so much fun to sing like that. All the a cappella harmonies blew me away. You just can't put that kind of amazement into words. Old songs. New songs. Familiar songs I grew up with. Indescribable talent.

Two and half hours into the concert they took a break. I wanted to stay till the very last note faded away, but I have an infant. And she prefers that I feed her at regular intervals. So we stayed about forty minutes into the second half and then went, ears ringing, to pick her up. She had a great evening with a family who spoiled her and loved her like crazy while we were gone.

I'm so thankful for good friends!

If the Gaithers do another tour next year, I'm going back. Maybe I'll try to fit in and wear a wig and take a walker... Nah. I'm a proud Gaither Vocal Band fan. I can handle praising God with the old folks. :)


MomBrose said...

How fun! I grew up with the Gaithers in our house, so I am VERY familiar with them :D
I love the video of Carrie too!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Signature Sound !!! Pap, Jerry, and I went to see them in concert. They were awesome. Over the years, Pap and I have taken in several Southern Gospel concerts. Before we leave, Pap goes to the sale table and talks to the members of the group. He just moves right in. ;) He has met Scott Fowler, Ivan Parker, Ernie Haus, and other big names. Pap loves Southern Gospel music. If you are engrossed in a good movie at his house, be aware, the Gaithers may invade and take over the station. He has his tv programmed for the daily Gaither shows. LOL


PS: Concerts with the elderly are "happy" concerts. They sure do get into their Southern Gospel music.

The Three Amigos said...

Ahhh...sweet memories! So glad you had a great time!

TurtlesButterfly said...

I loved this post Julie! Especially being "proud to praise God with the old folks." Haha! Glad you enjoyed your time out.