ARTISTS LEAD THE WAY
The concert was held at Culpeper High School November 10, 2009 where nearly 1,200 fans filled the auditorium to overflowing. Most of those in attendance came from a 10-200 mile radius thanks to the publicity of Radio Station WPER. They were not disappointed. Battistelli, Heath, and Leeland shared the stage much of the time during the three hour concert in addition to giving each other the spotlight to sing their individual hits.
Francesca Battistelli was the darling of the evening eliciting the most applause from the teenagers in the crowd and rocking the house with her hits “Free to be Me” and “I’m Letting Go.” She has a beautiful, full voice and infectious smile, it’s no wonder she was so popular.
It’s always enlightening to hear the story behind a song and Brandon Heath shared he wrote “Trust You” as a personal testimony about his struggles and resulting faith in the Lord. His openness and sincerity were endearing and there was a palpable connection with the audience. Brandon had a very creative intro to his hit “Give Me Your Eyes” utilizing a cover of “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. Wait and See” and “I’m Not Who I Was” were other Heath crowd favorites.
You could hear a pin drop when Brandon and Francesca introduced a Christmas song they’ve been working on telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The words were powerful and their harmonies delightful. I hope they will record and release this one soon!
Leeland (comprised of brothers Leeland and Jack Mooring, Jake Holtz, and Mike Smith) describe their music as “progressive, creative worship music with pop rock and British rock influences.” They performed several songs from their new album Love is on the Move including “The Door,” “New Creation,” “Lift Your Eyes Up, “ “Pure Bride,” and the duet with Brandon Heath “Follow You” as well as some of their more familiar songs like “Tears of the Saints,” and “Yes You Have.”
Leeland was definitely energetic on stage, yet there were moments of quiet intensity that took my breath away. Good music and well written lyrics can do that to a person.
Intermission gave us all a chance to donate to “Food For the Hungry” supported by the Follow You Tour artists whose goal is to have over 1,000 children sponsored by the Tour’s end. Their message is that we put our love into action, helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
I came away from this concert refreshed and invigorated, thankful for the opportunity to truly worship, grateful for the gift of music and such talented artists as these.
Links to interviews with the artists prior to the show:
• FRANCESCA BATTISTELLI by Amy Wagner
• BRANDON HEATH by Cheryl Walker
• JACK & LEELAND MOORING by Cheryl Walker