What’s “Better than a Hallelujah”? Watching Amy Grant perform this beautiful song live.
Six-time Grammy award-winner, Amy Grant, held a special one-night performance at the historic San Jose Civic Auditorium on July 23, 2013.
While excited guests made their way into to the multimillion-dollar, newly renovated Civic, they were greeted by vendors selling Amy Grant merchandise. For the die-hard fans, they had a chance to purchase T-shirts, posters, and various other items before, during intermission, and at the end of the show.
The show was produced by Nederlander Concerts and sponsored by K-LOVE, a Christian-based radio station that plays a variety of uplifting and encouraging Christian pop and rock music, and who regularly play the music of Amy Grant and that of her special guest performer, Brandon Heath.
As the rightfully titled “Queen of Christian Pop” came out onto the stage, her long time loyal fans, both old-and-new, clapped and cheered with excitement. Amy smiled with appreciation, and went on to sing some of her new songs off of her newly released album after 10 years, “How Mercy Looks From Here” (May 14, 2013).
Upon singing some of her new songs, Amy told the audience a funny occurrence that happened to her while she was at the airport getting her passport checked by a TSA agent. As Amy explained, the agent was so engrossed at getting through ticket-after-ticket that, he never even looked up at her. He did, however, mention out loud that, he knew of a gospel singer by the name of Amy Grant. If he only took the time to look up, he would have seen the real one standing right in front of him! That indicated to Amy that it had been quite a long time since she had released an album, and was happy to have finally done so.
There was a moment of nostalgia when Amy realized that she had sung some of the same songs at the Civic in 1984, 29 years ago. Many of the audience members shouted out titles of the songs she had sung back then, and one audience member even exclaimed what Amy was wearing the night of her performance almost 30 years ago! Amy complimented the fan by stating that the audience member had a remarkable brain in order to remember such a detail.
On some of the more up-tempo songs, some audience members could not help but get up and dance in the aisles.
Although many of the guests were able to fully engross themselves in Amy’s music through having the ability to get up and dance, one observation made was, how many severely disabled fans of Amy were in the audience. Most of them were in wheelchairs, not having the ability to dance, but they were still enjoying the inspirational music that Amy sings. And even though all people have some sort of cross to bear in life, people who are either physically, mentally, or psychologically disabled in some way have a heavier cross to bear, and therefore may gravitate towards music that offers them hope and the healing message of God. And Amy’s songs do just that. They offer hope and inspiration in the midst of personal struggle and the challenges of life.
During the second half of her set, Amy introduced onto the stage her special guest singer, Brandon Heath. Brandon is an accomplished singer himself, as many of his songs are moving and inspirational in their own right. Brandon went on to sing with Amy, guitar in hand. Then, he sang some of his songs such as, “Jesus in Disguise” and “Give me your Eyes.” They also sang together one of my personal favorites, “Better than a Hallelujah.”
When Amy sang some of her more spiritual songs, like “Emmanuel” and “Better than a Hallelujah”, the dynamics in the auditorium changed from a feeling of being at a concert to that of being in a place of worship. Many of the audience members took to their feet and threw their arms up in the air. It was as if the spirit of God took over, and they felt the need to worship Him through the passionate music and lyrics of Amy’s songs. It was quite a beautiful and memorable experience. In that instance, all you could feel was love in the atmosphere and the presence of something beyond this world.
Even for one night, Amy delivered a performance that will perpetually stay in the memory of her devoted fans, including myself.
For more information about Amy Grant and her new album, please visit: http://amygrant.com/
For more information about Brandon Heath and his music, please visit: http://brandonheath.net/
For more information about K-LOVE Radio and to find a station dial in your area, please visit: http://www.klove.com/
For more information about Nederlander Concerts, please visit: http://www.nederlanderconcerts.com/
A special “Thank you” goes to Ms. Vanessa Kromer, Senior Director of Publicity
for Nederlander Concerts, for the accommodations.
Event Coverage and Photos by Sophia M. Papadopoulos