Date: 14 Sept 2003
 Lifest & Fresh Fish Festival reviews/pics

all reviews and pictures by Jean Gimnick

Mitch McVicker at Lifest
Contemporary Main Stage, 1:35pm
Oshkosh WI, July 11th, 2003

It was a day that started out sunny, only to alternate between sunshine and rain. That resulted in some of the outdoor concerts being rescheduled. Mitch's concert was held outdoors on the Adult Contemporary Main Stage. Before introducing Mitch, the announcer prayed for the rain to stay away. There were several in the audience agreeing in prayer with an "Amen."

Lifest has people signing for the deaf at seminars as well as concerts. There was a woman on stage signing for this one also.

Mitch greeted the audience and noted the spots of flooding on the grounds. He said it is always nice to go somewhere for a concert and have other people show up too. That brought laughter. I noticed an extra mic on stage and discovered the reason for it later. This microphone altered the sound of Mitch's voice and harmonica whenever he used it on portions of some songs. There were songs he did not play an instrument on. He also used his harmonica, but not his guitar on a song. On "My Deliverer," the audience sang with. Hands were raised throughout the audience in praise to God. He spoke about the times we may be brought down by sin or circumstance. He reminded us that we are never down for the count. Jesus is the one Who picks us up. He followed that with "It's Getting Better." He illustrated what Jesus does for us by using the Etch-A-Sketch as an example. Just like you turn the Etch-A-Sketch over and shake it, Jesus takes us and erases the black marks off of our souls. The concert ended with "I Need You Jesus."

People left the area with smiles and thanking God for the rain holding off for the concert.


Mitch McVicker at Lifest
Java Hut Café Stage, 7:45pm
Oshkosh WI, July 11th, 2003

Lifest is a four day Christian camping event on the Sunnyview Fairgrounds. The stages were both indoors and outdoors. Some located in open air buildings built for showing livestock. This concert was at the Java Hut Cafe, located in the smaller section of Barn A. Some of the stages were so close, you could hear things from the neighboring one. This was the case here also, which prompted an apology to the guys from a Lifest official. They did a wonderful job, even with this situation. The message that was brought was still able to be conveyed. It was raining at the start of the concert, and had been off and on during the day.

Mitch started the concert with "Gospel Rain." He did three songs without playing his guitar. He was also using a mic that produced a special effect whenever he sang or played his harmonica in it. He sang a song about a party going on in heaven. We can one day be at that party. He then followed with "Here And Now." Mitch used his observations about lady bugs on his windshield and the varying distances they held on, in a lesson. He said that we can be blown off course. God helps us turn around and get back on course. He observed the shell of the lady bug. How that shell is protection for the lady bug.There are things that squish us. But something won't let us get squished. That something is Jesus, Who is our shell. He told us not to forget about our shell. We should utilize our shell and often we don't. We are to let Jesus do His job as Savior. He followed with "Take the Wheel." Mitch also taught the audience a Praise song. He had the audience sing on the chorus.

He closed the concert portion with a request from the audience for "Heaven Is Waiting." Mitch led us in Praise and Worship, during which he exhorted us to not look down our noses, but up to God. A downpour occurred at the end, but Jesus was there even in the rain.

Mitch McVicker concert
Fresh Fish Festival, 7:00pm
Black River Falls WI, August 16th, 2003

This festival is a day long outdoor event, featuring Christian musicians from independent labels. An adjustment had to be made at the start, due to one band not being able to come. That meant more time for each concert. Brad originally was to be second, but opened the event. He did a good job adding a few more songs in his set at the last minute.

Mitch's concert was in the evening. I noticed that Mitch and Brad were going to be using electric guitars in addition to their acoustic ones. Mitch started his concert with "Here and Now." 

Then he greeted the audience and commented on the beautiful surroundings. Then he sang "Take the Wheel." During "My Deliverer" people sang along, some with hands raised in praise. Some even dancing before the Lord. He then did "You Have Everything." Mitch's arrangement of "Christ the Solid Rock" starts out a cappella. He and Brad percuss their guitars during the song. It was beautifully done and blessing to hear. He talked about the springtime being a time of renewal. How fields are burned to renew the growth of the green grasses. He followed with "Burning the Fields." He said things are rarely what they seem. Everything looks different in the dark, from what it does in the light. He said the song he wrote with that in mind was given a female pronoun, because he didn't want to write a song about some dude. That caused the audience to laugh, especially the men. Then he sang "Star Gazer." Mitch told the audience about one of the Psalms describing a banquet., a celebration going on in heaven. He followed with a song about a party going on in heaven. He spoke about grace being thicker than anything. He said there are reminders of Christ seen everywhere and gave examples. Jesus is all over, in everything around us. We should not miss out. We should stop, look, and see. It is up

to us to be changed by Jesus. He used the Weeble toys in an example of what Christ does. Weebles wobble but they don't fall down. Jesus is there beside us. When we are down, we aren't down for the count. Jesus picks us back up again. As with the Etch-A-Sketch's black marks being erased by shaking, Jesus does the same by shaking the blackness off our souls. He reminded us that Jesus made a statement about it that was in the Bible. Mitch then sang "Don't Let Your Heart Be Troubled."

Mitch led Praise and Worship afterward. The sun set during Mitch's concert, which made people aware of how close God really is.


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