which was written for Amy's sister Carol, which Amy told us she changed to Laura because it was easier to sing. She also introduced us to Tony Harold on keyboards and the newest, youngest band member, her back-up singer, Jenny Gill. Amy said, "I'm so glad I married her daddy 11 years ago."
There was no mistaking the opening notes of "Baby Baby,"
which got the “dancers” back on their feet. After the song, Amy said, "Heart in Motion
was released 20 years ago yesterday. I need these great back-up singers to help me sing these songs now."
That led to "Every Heartbeat,"
another one of Amy’s cross-over mega-hit songs from that all-time best-selling album. Amy continued, "Fast forward 20 years later, here’s my newest song," and she sang "Better Than A Hallelujah."
I can’t get enough of her great new song, which addresses the topic of being honest with yourself and God. Her vocals are still stellar and the poignant message behind this song has me hooked again, similar to Amy’s classic songs “Lead Me On”
and “Saved By Love,”
both in catchiness and transparency.
The reflective mood continued with "Arms Of Love,"
her updated nearly 30-year-old classic released on Somewhere Down the Road
, and "What About The Love,"
from Lead Me On
. Afterwards, Amy introduced the rest of her band: Gene Miller on guitar, Mike Brigadello on bass, and Greg Marrow on drums.
She said, "I started writing something for my mother over 20 years ago about aging. Back then, I thought, what do I know about aging? Now when I washed my face this morning, I see the changes in my face. I hope to have another reunion tour 20 years from now. Who knows, maybe if we eat our Wheaties. What I know is that things change, but it's good to know The One Who never changes."
When she started singing "El Shaddai,"
I welled up and couldn't even get the words "the frailty of Your Son" out of my mouth as the tears rolled down my cheeks. It truly is an amazing song and only Amy’s sincere vocals capture the raw emotion of it: “Age to age, You’re still the same, by the power of Your name.”
Amy continued with a medley of "Jesus Loves Me/They'll Know We Are Christians/Helping Hands."
Smitty came back on the stage, and together they sang "Lead Me On,"
which was highlighted by the ensemble vocals and incredible music. The crowd just kept clapping when the song finished, which led to an incredible performance of "Emmanuel."
I loved belting out “Wonderful Counselor, Lord of Life, Lord of All, He is the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Holy One, Emmanuel.” The first set of the night ended with a raucous performance of "Put A Little Love In Your Heart."
Together Michael and Amy told us about Compassion International. Michael told a moving story about how he got to give a high school diploma to his sponsored child, who had an amazing encounter with God. He went on to tell us that 22 people in the Lopez family now also know Christ due to the great work of Compassion International.
After the intermission, Michael W. Smith took to the piano, solo. Read the second part of my concert review here.