It is really difficult to pick an absolute single most favorite concert experience. But if I had to choose one, it would be Sandi Patty.
Few performers can personally connect with an audience the way Sandi Patty can. The power of the inspirational/gospel singer dubbed “The Voice” was on full display on June 20, 2013, in a 3-hour show at the Morton H. Meyerson Center in Dallas, TX. In what was my first time to see her perform live, Ms. Patty’s charisma as a performer and her warm, affable, down-to-earth delivery made it easy to see why she is such an icon in gospel music.
A few reasons why this show stood out from all others I’ve seen:
Ms. Patty performed as a special guest of the local Turtle Creek Chorale and she stole the show as she powered her way through a combination of her own hits (including “We Shall Behold Him”) and some of Christiandom’s most beloved hymns (such as “How Great Thou Art” and “Blessed Assurance”). She also mixed in some popular tunes (a medley from “The Sound of Music” and the evening’s closer, “What a Wonderful World”). She even showed off her sense of humor by singing a song that poked fun at the different ways to spell her first and last names.
The Oklahoma native made full use of her four-octave range as she effortlessly hit high notes throughout the evening. Despite being almost 57 years old, Ms. Patty has not lost any of her vocal ability with age. She also showed her versatility by smoothly transitioning between upbeat tempos and songs carrying soft, soothing, inspirational messages.
Connection to the Audience
From the moment Ms. Patty stepped on the stage, the audience was fully on her side. They clapped, enthusiastically sang along, and cheered her as she described some of her musical influences and life experiences between songs. She made every person in the audience feel as if he or she was the only one there. Her charm and electricity were evident even from the nosebleed section.
The audience showed its appreciation with several standing ovations throughout the night. They recognized Ms. Patty as one of them who has found a strong faith and wants to help others find that same faith.
The 200-member Turtle Creek Chorale performed their own set of songs admirably, but the stage clearly belonged to Sandi Patty on this night. When the performance was over, Ms. Patty told the audience just before she left the stage, “Remember, you are loved.” I know everyone in the audience, myself included, felt that way after having watched her perform live.
Brian Honea is a Dallas, Texas-based freelance writer and frequent concert-goer.