The Chicago Gospel Festival is great because it is one of the many FREE things for music lovers! It always brings out the super duper praise and worshipers. I say they are super because it takes a lot to give God the Praise in a public place. Praising God in your private sanctuary is much easier than to let out praise in a crowded public park.
The Gospel Festival started at 12pm June 6, 2009 but I can’t be anywhere for that amount of time. As much as I love God and I love music, I needed a nap before I went to downtown Chicago. I planned to leave out the house at 3pm so I could make it in time to see the Best Gospel Choir in the U.S.: Acme Missionary Baptist Church Choir of Chicago but that nap got real good. About time I made it to the Gospel Festival, Acme M.B. Church was leaving off the stage.
When I arrived, Shekinah Glory Ministry was coming on the stage. I have to admit that I was never into their music much. Their recordings never moved me but I guess they are one of those groups you have to see live to understand. Shekinah Glory Ministry has a powerful stage presence.
Jonathan Nelson featuring Purpose took the stage next around 5:30PM. They gave a solid performance and the crowd was feeling them. When they started their song “My Name is Victory” that’s when the crowd really got into it. Jonathan Nelson featuring Purpose did not let the crowd down. As the crowd got more into the song so did the performers, making it a GREAT performance.
At around 6:30 Fred Nelson III (I’m not sure who that is) presented an “Evening of Elegance”: I’m guessing that was code word for a more traditional approach to Gospel. This was the part where all the people lacking the Elegance got up and went to the bathroom and got something to eat…I kid, I kid! However, I do know that the traditional approach AKA Anthems and Spirituals is not highly appreciated by many. However, do not be fooled it was excellent!
The Divine Diva’s: Felicia Coleman-Evans, Connie Kinnison, and Elizabeth Norman-Sojourner were lovely. Three Soprano’s that sang like little birdies in the trees. The performance of The Divine Diva’s was sweet and short. Next up was Tenor Rodrick Dixon (you know him from The Three Mo’ Tenors and Cook, Dixon and Young). His take on “Make Them Here You” was truly marvelous.
A very new choir called “Gospel Music According to Chicago Mass Choir” blew me away! It featured different lead singers and a magnificent band. The organ roared and trumpets sounded. All I can say is “They Had Church!” in the old time way. From slow to fast they were top notch in their presentation as well as their performance. They could easily be considered as one of the top Choirs in the nation. It got so good that this one old lady caught a shout and I could have sworn she was Catholic! Yes, it was that good!
Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s came next and brought the sound of the Quartet. I’ve never been too much into Quartet music but they did make you clap your hands. However, I was hungry and went and got a slice of Deep Dish Pizza from Connie’s. It was delicious!
When I came back Donnie McClurkin was preparing to come out. He gave a very good performance and he has an incredible voice but he was a big letdown all at the same time. However, I cannot complain because the entire festival was put together very well.
Actually I can complain and I’ll do it in another blog!