A Word from Cheryl:

Thank you for visiting my Concert Review Blog. I have enjoyed attending, photographing and writing about a variety of concerts over the past several years. I hope that my reviews and photos have made you feel like you were right there with me.

At this time in my life I've taken a step back, looked at what’s truly important and have begun to prioritize my time, energy and resources.

I retired from nursing in 2012 and was then able to be with my aging father, who later passed away in June, 2013.

My family is growing dramatically! We now have eight grandchildren and I take every opportunity to be available to help when needed. I also make sure I carve out plenty of time for my husband so that he knows how important he is to me.

Because of this I don't attend many concerts anymore. I try to be selective in choosing a show and do my best to relax and enjoy the experience. I no longer stress about getting the perfect photo or remembering some occurrence so I can write about it.

If you want to view a collection of some of my favorite photos from the past several years you may find them here:
Cheryl's Pearls Photos - Concerts

Thanks again for visiting my site.

May God Bless,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Brandon Heath Concert in North Carolina


My husband, Phil, and I were driving into the mountains of North Carolina for a week of vacation when Phil noticed a sign that said “Brandon Heath Appearing Here November 1st.”  The location was only about an hour from our destination and we agreed it would be fun to go.  Eventually we went on-line and purchased tickets for the concert which included early admission and a Meet & Greet with Brandon Heath.

On the day of the show we were ushered into a meeting room.  Heath came in and talked to us about his new album, “Blue Mountain.”  He told us he had been looking forward to this particular concert in Mills River, NC because it was so close to Asheville where the album had been recorded.

“Blue Mountain is literally just a place in my imagination,” said Heath.  “It actually comes from a C.S. Lewis quote where he talks about how some people are like mountains – blue and mysterious in the distance but when you get up close to them they’re brown and green, nothing mysterious at all.”
“I thought “if I want to tell a story about Blue Mountain I need to talk about the people who live there.”  So I made up songs about a guy who’s a coal miner, a man who lives on death row, a young couple living on Blue Mountain – all these people are telling the story about who or what Blue Mountain really is.  As I’m telling the story, like so many authors do, I’m really revealing who I am through these characters.”

Heath serenades couple
Heath played us a song called “Paul Brown Petty” from the new album then asked if anyone had a song they would like to hear.  A newlywed couple asked for “Heavenly Day,” one of Heath’s songs used for their first dance at their wedding.  He agreed to sing it provided they got up and danced (which they did).

We then had our photos taken with Brandon Heath, received autographed copies of “Blue Mountain” and went into the auditorium for the concert.

Matt Maher
Micah Bournes
Micah Bournes gave a dramatic reading prior to Matt Maher’s opening act.  Maher performed several of his hits – “Alive Again,” “Hold Us Together,” and “Rise Up,” to name a few.  His popularity with the crowd was evident by the large amount of audience participation singing along with him.

Brandon Heath

Another Micah Bournes reading ushered in Brandon Heath’s performance which included four No. 1 hits: "I'm Not Who I Was," "Wait and See," the 2009 GMA Dove Award-winning Song of the Year, "Give Me Your Eyes," and the eight-week chart topper, "Your Love."

Brandon Heath after intermission
Following a brief intermission with a Food for the Hungry promotion, Heath returned to the stage.  I noticed a costume change had taken place, possibly to help get into character to tell the stories of Blue Mountain.  Heath gave us the background story for many of the songs which made the concert highly entertaining.  Some of my personal favorites include “The Harvester,” “Diamond,” “Jesus In Disguise,” and “He Paid It All.”

Singing back-up for Heath were The Church Sisters, 16 year old twins Sarah & Savannah, who also sang their own bluegrass rendition of The Issacs’ “Heros.”  Heath was later joined by Matt Maher to sing Maher’s “Your Grace Is Enough.”

This was by far one of my favorite concert experiences and I would highly recommend Heath’s new album.  Phil and I came away with hearts uplifted and smiles on our faces.  This was indeed a Blue Mountain adventure!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DC Fest in Fairfax, VA August 18, 2012

  DC FEST 2012

On Saturday, August 18, some friends and I traveled to the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA for DC Fest where seven Christian artists and groups performed.  It was an amazing concert full of fun, laughter, praise and worship.
Jason Roy with Building 426

Starting the show was Lindsay McCaul followed by Kerrie Roberts.  These girls had their work cut out for them as they sang without benefit of a backup band while people filed in, talking and laughing throughout the venue.  Neither one had a deep repertoire of hit songs but their voices were beautiful and deserved more attention than they received.

Building 429 was next.  The band’s name is based on Ephesians 4:29 which focuses on words that encourage and build up others.  They certainly got a lot of crowd participation, especially with their world-wide hit “Where I Belong.”  Lead singer, Jason Roy, admitted they were truly humbled and grateful for their current success.

Brandon Heath
Brandon Heath continued the sing-along with his numerous hits – most notable among them was the song that got him noticed on Christian Radio, “Give Me Your Eyes.”  This hit was followed by several more including “Your Love,” and “I’m Not Who I Was.”  He mentioned working on a new CD titled “Blue Mountain” to be released October 9, 2012.  The song “Jesus In Disguise” is from this album and can be heard on the airwaves now.

Matt Hammitt with Sanctus Real
Sanctus Real kept the fun going during their set.  When asked how they got their name they replied "Sanctus" means "Holy" and we really want to hold to that standard, and "Real" means just trying to be real. We are not stars. We don't have an ego, we are not into image, we are just who we are.” And what an enjoyable group they are!  I particularly enjoyed watching guitarist Chris Rohman as he enthusiastically attacked his guitar for several numbers.  They closed their set with “Lead Me” - one of my favorites.
Mac Powell with Third Day
We thought we’d been entertained up to this point but once Third Day took the stage it was apparent the show had just been kicked up a notch.  Their seasoned performance and ability to engage the crowd was delightful.  Lead singer, Mac Powell, took great pleasure in pointing to individuals encouraging them to stand, clap or sing along.  There was a nice ebb and flow to the song selection blending contemporary with praise and worship.  Their performance included “Tunnel,” “Revelation,” “Call My Name,” and “God of Wonders” with the highlight (for me) of the audience wide a cappella singing of “Blessed Assurance”.  Third Day’s next album “Miracle” hits the stores November 6 (Election Day) and we were urged to “vote for Third Day” with our purchase.

Bart Millard with MercyMe
MercyMe proved to be another polished group with a solid performance.  Lead singer, Bart Millard, used this concert platform to encourage the faithful with meaningful lyrics.  He joked that the song “I Can Only Imagine” follows them everywhere and then promptly sang it.  Other songs from the evening include “Beautiful,” “Homesick/Finally Home,” “This Life,” “Move,” “Hurt & The Healer,” “You Are I Am,” and the absolutely beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” sung by one and all.

Article Published in the Star Exponent HERE 

Friday, May 11, 2012

DIERKS BENTLY - Charlottesville, VA May 10, 2012

I've seen Dierks Bentley perform numerous times over the years and, as always, Dierks is certainly the life of the party!  His concerts are so entertaining.

Dierks has a wide variety of songs and his music strikes a chord for a very diverse age group as evidenced by the audience at the Charlottesville Pavilion May 10th.  There was something for young and old alike from the well known hit "What Was I Thinkin?" to patriotic ballads like "Home" to to his latest hit "5-1-5-0," a catchy little tune that tends to stick in your head.

Dierks appears to be most at home when the audience is crowding the stage - something security tried to prevent throughout the evening but eventually gave up, allowing the enthusiastic fans who kept pressing forward a coveted spot in front of the stage.  Several times Dierks knelt and interacted with his fans, reaching out to them, teasing them, and occasionally singing to a smitten female in front of him.
Mike Eli of the Eli Young Band

Opening for Dierks was the Eli Young Band who gave a strong performance.  I overheard some folks in the audience say "These guys are really good!  I didn't know they had so many hits!"  Mike Eli, lead singer and guitarist, was certainly impressive with songs like "Crazy Girl," "Guinevere" and my personal favorite "Even If It Breaks Your Heart."  The Eli Young Band is definitely one to watch.