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A highlight for me was the next set of songs, starting with "Secret Ambition"
and then "Rocketown."
It was very cool to hear those classics back-to-back. Even though those songs are over 20 years old, they display for me the incredible influence Smitty has had in shaping the genre that is now Christian pop and current best-selling artists Brandon Heath, Chris Tomlin and Chris August are following in his footsteps. Michael told us a great story about co-writing with Nik Kershaw in London for 1998’s Live The Life
. He said, “We wrote 10 songs together and nine weren’t very good, but I keep coming back to this one song,” and he sang "Let Me Show You The Way,"
which I wholeheartedly agree is one of the gems of Michael’s incredible catalog.
The song showed his cutting edge Brit-pop sensibilities which 13 years later can now be heard all throughout Christian music, from The Afters, Luminate, Phil Wickham, Kristian Stanfill and many others. Michael introduced his band and I was thrilled to see Stu G from Delirious playing guitar as he is one of my all-time favorite guitarists.
Michael mentioned that he hadn’t sung any songs from his current album, Wonder
, which led to his reflective ballad "Welcome Home."
The song is a great reminder that as believers, this fallen world is not our home.
Next came the worship classics "Mighty To Save"
, "Above All"
and then "Majesty,"
and all were very moving and worshipful. It was a treat to hear Stu G playing the amazing guitar part from his original Delirious worship classic “Majesty,”
and the song reminded me how much I love that band.
Amy came back to the stage and the both artists’ full bands joined together to belt out "Healing Rain."
The sold-out crowd all lifted their hands in worship crying out, “We want to be washed in Heaven's rain."
The brilliant worship song "Agnus Dei"
was the closer. I get chills every time I sing this song with fellow believers as I glimpse a picture of eternity in Heaven singing to Jesus, “Worthy Is The Lamb.” It was amazing.
Everyone left the stage, and then they came back with Amy wearing her Unguarded jacket, as she finished with "Love Of Another Kind,"
and finally just Michael and Amy stood together and appropriately finished with "Friends."
At first her microphone didn't work, and neither did the replacement. The audience was rolling with laughter and then they just shared Michael's microphone. After a stagehand activated the mic, it was a classic, transparent Amy moment as she tossed the mic back and forth mocking the technical difficulties only to pop the switch off again to her own shock and disbelief.
It was the perfect ending to a wonderful evening of over 30 songs and 3 hours of celebrating the historic and influential careers of these 2 Friends. Today’s industry has these 2 brilliant artists to thank for paving the way for today’s Christian music market. I am so grateful personally for the many blessings I’ve received over the years from their ministry of music. Thank you Amy and Michael for sharing your gifts for the Kingdom of God. As we sang together in Lancaster and will sing together to God for eternity, “Hallelujah, Worthy Is The Lamb. Amen.”