by Stephanie Ferraro
St. Gertrude's Parish, Oshawa, ON
Music is one of the most beautiful and magical things in the world. Not only can it stir feelings deep within and draw upon one's emotions, music also has the ultimate power to bring people together. On the evening of Tuesday, September 16, 2014 I had the incredible opportunity to embrace all that music has to offer and more. The experience on a whole was inviting and healing, and the presence of God was certainly felt by all.
|JOE ZAMBON (photo by Jason DeHetre)|
Bellarive stole my heart with their uplifting performance. Uplifting, to me, is one of the best ways to describe it. Audrey, who introduced the band, asked the audience to remain standing for the set and Bellarive certainly got the crowd moving. More passionate performers!! Yay! One of the most satisfying things for me, especially as a performer myself, is to see someone LOVE what they do, and Bellarive showed just that. Not only their love for performing, but also their love for God. For those who haven't heard of them, you must take a listen to their music! It’s the kind of music you want to rock out to in the car, but does not lack amazing lyrics with profound messages.
loved the little bits of spoken words that were added into the set by singers,
Sean and Melissa. “Each and everyone of us, even if you
don't realize it, we’re here for the same purpose. We this
unbelievable opportunity to be apart of something bigger than ourselves. The
grace of God invites us here tonight,” Sean explained. He invited the crowd to
join in singing their songs, and asked them to think about the words they were singing
because they are prayers. Their rendition of In Christ Alone was personally my
favourite, as well as their final song Calling On Fire, a song based on God’s
chosen identity throughout the scripture being fire.
|BELLARIVE (photo by Jason DeHetre)|
Both Bellarive and Joe Zambon gave incredible performances and surely gained plenty of new fans after this wonderful evening, including myself!
As I mentioned before, I am a performer and some of my favourite songs to sing, not only at my local parish, but outside of the church as well, are by Audrey Assad. I’ve been listening to her for about 5 years and many songs such as Restless and Winter Snow have become staples in my repertoire. I feel so blessed to have had the chance to watch her perform live only a few feet away from me.
Audrey Assad began her set with her song Death, Be Not Proud. I have so much respect for artists who can sound identical on stage to how they do on their tracks. Her vocals were nothing less than perfection. The clarity in her voice is soothing and makes you never want to stop listening! She continued her set with a cover of John Mark McMillian’s song Death In His Grave. One of the things I love about Audrey’s live performances, is she's always at her piano. Playing and singing at the same time is a gift, people! (In my eyes it is, anyway!) She sang Good To Me next; one of my personal favourites off her new album. She taught it to the crowd which resulted in the entire theatre singing in unison: what a beautiful thing to experience. She explained that the song, like many of the songs on Fortunate Fall (her album), were inspired by Psalm 23. “I love singing from the psalms”, she said. Lead Me On comes up next, another favourite of mine, (I have a lot of favourites) especially because of the gorgeous piano solo featured in the song. Audrey then leads into her own version of Better Is One Day creating a medley of the two songs. Audrey went on to sing a new song called Lamb Of God and then another song from her album called, Humble. Audrey then went on to sing her own rendition of More Of You and I Will Exalt You in another medley. I am a huge fan of the song More Of You by Colton Dixon and it’s message. The message being that if all we need is God in our lives and in our hearts and if we allow Him to, He will show us the way and make us who we are meant to be.
|AUDREY ASSAD (photo by Jason DeHetre)|