Bluffton, IN 11/16 2006

Mitch McVicker Concert
Life Church, 7:00pm
Bluffton, IN, November 16, 2006
review and pictures by Tim Francis




Mitch McVicker played an acoustic concert at Life Church in Bluffton, Indiana Thursday night November 16, 2006. Mitch is currently on his "Perfectly Flawed" tour. Tom Frye opened the show with an excellent short set. If you have not seen Tom, get out and see him. You will really enjoy his message and music.

If you have not heard his music, you are really missing something special. His new cd "Hope is Alive is packed full of quality songwriting and great musicianship. It was produced by Michael Aukofer. Michael was playing drums and keyboards for Mitch on this night and Brad Layher was on guitar.

Tom opened his set with "A Little More Faith" from his album "No Plan B". Mitch then joined Tom on stage for an old hymn, "O How I love Jesus" which they did together on Tom's new album "Hope is Alive". Tom then performed 2 more songs. One was a bluesy song written by his guitar player, Scott Shoemaker, entitled "Want to Get to Heaven, and another song "My Heart Feels Like Dancing" which is so uplifting I am glad it is still stuck in my head a few days later. Tom's children Kaylyn, Maggie, and Jonathon joined him onstage and provided great vocals on the chorus which really made that song something special.

Mitch began his set with a powerful song from his first album "Gospel Rain". The whole concert was more acoustic than some recent concerts I have seen. Brad and Mitch played various acoustic guitars, and Michael was driving most songs home on the drums, and beautifully enhancing a few others on the keyboards. "Take the Wheel" was next. I am always challenged by the line "And I don't want it easy, I just don't wanna follow my own lead no more." If you think about it, that is really a gutsy prayer. I think it is awful easy to just want God to make life so nice and easy for us. But if God answered all of those prayers the way we want him to, I wonder what kind of Christians we would be? It is really something to ask God to take the wheel and mean it. You can see that these guys really mean it.

Michael slid over to the keyboard for a wonderful version of "Heaven is Waiting", then back to the drums for "My Deliverer". Those two songs always bring a feeling of comfort and remind me that God is in control and everything will be alright in the end. Next up was my new favorite, "Upon Further Inspection". All I can say right now is, "Wow!" It seems to have a different feel from anything Mitch has done so far. It is on the new 6 song EP which I was thankful Mitch had with him. This song was produced on the EP by Margaret Becker. It talks about the powerful return of Jesus Christ. I have been listening to Mitch's new stuff a lot and every song on this EP is worthy of airplay on radio stations across the country. Anyone reading this should stop reading this right now and order a copy.

Mitch then introduced the band while playing what I will call the "It's Getting Better Jam" which turned into "The Lemonade Song". Wherever Mitch plays he gets tremendous audience involvement and support. He taught us a "Yeah, Yeah" part which really brought "The Party Song" alive. There is also a great studio version of this on his new EP. Next was "Upside Down" from "Chasing the Horizon". This song has immeasurable meaning for me as I walk though my life each day trying to make sense of what I see. It's a song I come back to sometimes because it is an encouragement to know that if we look closely in this ungodly word we can still catch glimpses of our Lord and Savior. We too easily forget that and can miss what God is trying to show us.

Mitch and the band then dug out an oldie that I have not heard played in awhile. "One of These Days" from his first cd has always been one of my favorites. It was nicely resurrected with Michael again on the keyboard and Brad doing some percussion. Next was another great new song "Honest of Heart". It consists of tremendous lyrics from a humble musician talking with God. The concert wound up with "Take Hold of Me", and a worship song "Wounded One". If you have been enjoying "Wounded One" on the DVD, wait till you hear the version on the new EP.

All in all it was a great night of acoustic music, in a beautiful setting. I left feeling encouraged and like I had been ministered to by a great bunch of guys. I had the impression that they are doing everything they can to live their life in such a way that God can work through them to inspire others to pursue a closer, more intimate walk with Jesus. Thanks Mitch, Michael, Brad, Tom, Scott, Kaylyn, Maggie, and Jonathon. I really appreciated your music and ministry.

- Tim Francis
Winona Lake, Indiana

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