Saturday, May 03, 2008


I've been hungry for a good concert lately. I haven't had a lot of time for music and I've recognized that as a problem. A few weeks ago, a guy named Justin Fox came through town. He's a musician from southern California and was playing a few venues in our area. An acquaintance in ministry works at one of the churches that was hosting a concert and brought up the fact that they were looking for a host home. Aaron was away in Ireland so we had Justin stay with us. We attended his concert. It was good but it was also a youth group and that comes with it's own set of distractions and agenda. It wasn't the "concert" I'd been hungry for. I can't wait to see Justin again though...he's a great guy and makes good music that I'm only starting to get to know.

Earlier last week, I went searching online for a good concert. I looked at Phil Keaggy , Randy Stonehill and Bob Bennett, the latter two being from California my chances were good. Randy Stonehill is coming to Scaremento in August, Bob is playing lots of seminars and retreats but I saw that Phil was coming to Monterey on Thursday! I wondered how I could make it work. Monterrey is at least three hours away...concert at 7, bread truck till way. Boo. But I did find a Randy Stonehill and Phill Keaggy live CD to download on itunes. That went a long way to satisfy my fix. But not quite what I wanted.

The next day I got a phone call from another youth pastor friend...


"Chris, it's Michael, old are you?"

"I'm 37."

"Oh, well, you might know who I'm talking about. Would you like to come to a free Phil Keaggy concert this Friday night at our church?"


So the rest is history. It was awesome. And Phil just the way you need to see Phil. A small room (280 people), Phil and his guitar and his awe inspiring digital looping on the fly skills. He did all my favorite songs of his. He sang "Here comes the Sun" (do do do do). He sang Bob Dylan's "Make you feel my Love"...a heartbreakingly sweet rendition. I think he did some "Love Song". He shared his heart. He talked about the old days. He talked about Jesus. He humbly shared with wisdom, skill, wit and of course, some mind blowing musicianship.

I recorded a few songs on my phone but the sound didn't work out. So find a few samples of Phil live here...and here...and here.

It felt like when I was 12 and sitting at my very first real concert. It was Dallas Holm and Praise. I was blown away. I had never really been "into" music. I was a bit of a late bloomer having lived a pretty sheltered Christian life on a Christian collage campus in Northern Wisconsin. These guys were not like my Sunday School teachers. I grew up knowing about a nice God who wanted us to be nice people and do nice things. Idefinitely came on the scene post Jesus movement, so Christian music was beginning to lose it's edge. But it wasn't gone yet. These artists challenged me with radical messages of abandon to God, evangelism and challenge to live holy lives that matter. I've said it before, but we need it again...desperatly.

So at the end, Phil came out right where I was sitting and the crowd gathered round for autographs. Amie had been naturally walking toward me and we were soon swept into the Phil mania. So Amie shook his hand...the one with the middle finger missing. Then there was an awkward silence and then Amie said, "Phil, this is my husband, Chris..." And Phil extended his de-fingered hand to me and I shook it and could sense the missing digit. He touched me, oh, he touched me and I'm wondering if I play guitar better now.

So you have to do some looking, but different, real, good stuff is still out there. Who wants to go see Randy with me this August?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Randy with you this August. But I'm in Canada, so I don't think that'll happen. Request "Cold Rock the Groove" for me!!
I think you know this story... I saw Bob Bennett open for Amy Grant in '85 on the Unguarded tour at the Winnipeg Arena - and though I've never heard an album of his, somehow "Still Rolls The Stone" never left me.