, an icon and Christian music pioneer, brought her show to a sellout crowd at the elegant Palace Theater in Greensburg, Penn. I have to admit I was really excited when I got the confirmation to cover this show for NewReleaseTuesday.com. I had never seen Amy live before, though I can remember “back in the day” cranking her Lead Me On
album in my cassette player cruisin’ the park in my station wagon brown Chevy Chevette. Dude, it was "da bomb."
Amy’s come a long way since then: six Grammies, numerous Dove Awards and even a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Although after seeing her show, I imagine she would be much more comfortable talking about her family than any of the awards she has won. She comes across more like a proud mom than an award-winning musician.
With its chandeliers, opera-style balconies and decorative moldings, the Palace Theater was as elegant and charming as Amy was on stage. The acoustics of the hall were perfect for the evening. The blend between Amy and her band was a perfect mix and never once was it overpowering. Shooting pictures from the front of the stage, I didn’t even need my earplugs.
Amy’s band consisted of top musicians in their own rights with whom Amy has performed for years, a group she said was “Just like a pair of comfortable old sneakers.”
“They don’t hassle you if you make a mistake, and at my age that can happen," she continued. "If I didn’t have them, this would be more like me just strumming around a campfire.”
Amy’s daughter, Jenny Gil, joined her on this tour, and let me tell you, that girl can sing. Amy even joked, saying “one reason I brought her was to cover the high parts I can’t hit anymore.” But joking aside, you could tell by the way Amy looked at her throughout the night just how proud of her she was. Jenny was very confident in her vocals as she sang the duet of “Overnight”
and an amazing three-part harmony with Amy and Gene Miller on “Thy Word.”
Jenny wasn’t the only guest musician to be showcased that evening. The other player given the limelight was guitarist Pat Buchanan. Amy said she always loved guitar solos, and Pat didn’t disappoint. Pat played with an Eric Clapton-esque passion and performed a lot of great guitar solos throughout the evening. Playing with style and finesse, he really seemed to feel the music, but never once did it seem like he was upstaging Amy.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Amy’s other bandmates. Though they were not spotlighted, it was the whole band that made the evening exceptional. The rest of the band included bassist Mike Brignardello; vocalist, guitarist and percussionist Gene Miller; keyboardist Tony Miller and drummer Greg Morrow.
With a long career of hits, Amy had plenty of music to draw from for her two-hour set, opening the evening with “Taxi.”
She then went on to perform, as she put it, “music through the century,” which ranged from her earliest stuff to songs off of her latest album.
Amy Finished out the evening with the encores “Love of Another Kind”
and “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
Regardless of what you thought of Amy’s trials and tribulations over the years, she brought a sense of humility and gentleness to the evening. Amy is still a great performer and her songs still continue to carry meaning and a message that we shouldn’t miss.
Her set list was provided to me by a friend and went something like this:
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- Lucky One
- Father’s Eyes
- Find a Way
- Saved by Love
- Stay for Awhile
- Come Be with Me
- Better Than A Hallelujah
- Find What You're Looking For
- Third World Woman
- Thy Word
- El Shaddai
- Helping Hand Medley
- House of Love
- Baby, Baby
- Turn this World Around
- Lead Me On
- I Will Remember You