One of our favorite indie music duos is Jenny & Tyler. They have been a …0 comments Read More
GUEST REVIEW: Andrew Peterson - Light For the Lost Boy Tour
UTR hosted 2 stops on Andrew Peterson's "Light For The Lost Boy Tour" on Oct. 13 & 14. UTR listener Gail Hafar was at the concert in Dyer, IN and shares this guest concert review.
I have been a fan of Andrew Peterson from the first moment his music found my ears… and it took only a few seconds after that for it to reach the depths of my heart. I compare his songwriting ability to the food of the best chefs… my soul dines on each note, each lyric, as one dines on the best culinary creations; without haste, savoring each flavor, each nuance, and letting all the complexity reveal itself to me in its own time. I believe the man has a special anointing on his life to reveal God’s truths in a way no other musician can, and I am grateful to God for the gift He pours into Andrew.
The concert I saw this past weekend did nothing less than confirm all of this for me.
I bought a copy of Andrew’s latest album, Light for the Lost Boy, a couple of weeks after it was released and after listening to it a few times, looked forward to hearing the songs live with the anticipation that some of what I felt had been a bit overproduced on the album, would regain its raw authenticity in a live setting. And I was not disappointed.
Andrew is a master storyteller. As I sit down to write this review, I find it near impossible to keep it brief… but I will say that the word that comes to mind to sum up the show more than any other is “HOPE”. It may seem ironic to think this while watching a montage of people in the show’s video introduction sharing their own coming of age stories… revealing personal realizations as they grew into adulthood that we live in a deeply broken world (a major theme of the show); but as Andrew introduces each song (with beautiful vulnerability), you realize that he’s right when he quotes a commenter of Lord of the Rings saying that “to despair is to assume that you know the end of the story; that you can see something that you can’t. And so there is always hope.”
He weaves this thread of hope through the entire show, even as he walks us through the darkness he has seen in his life, using the lyrics and integral dissonance of some of his songs as stepping stones along the path as in “The Ballad of Jody Baxter” - longing for an innocence that has been lost; or “Come Back Soon” - with desperate cries of “...deliverance, oh Lord!”
It’s one of the things I love most about this brother: his vulnerability before his audience. The stories he tells between each song often reveal that the song was inspired by a real event in his life or the life of a friend… and it makes the lyrics come alive in a whole new way knowing that they were born from beautiful or tragic reality. As he sings lullabies to his daughter reminding her of the Lord’s presence in her life through her daddy’s love (“The Voice of Jesus”) and admonishes his son to “keep to the old roads” as he grows into adulthood (“You’ll Find Your Way”), you get the sense you are beholding his very heart.
It is unmistakable that Andrew has a message to communicate – the message that in the midst of all this groaning of creation, there is beauty. There is majesty. There is joy, love, excellence, perfection and grandeur. Truly, there is hope. And there is One to thank for it all.
Technically, the show was near flawless… with the exception of one forgotten lyric and a broken drumstick (neither missed a beat in spite of it), everything was tight... every bar perfectly executed - unbelievable musicianship at the hands and voice of every single member.
Which brings me to my only complaint about the show. I wish I heard more from Andrew’s guest musicians - the band CALEB. Though I had heard one or two of their songs before, I wasn’t entirely familiar with their music and was truly blown away by their musical talent and lyrical wisdom. They do nothing less than enhance the experience and also act as truly perfect accompaniment to Andrew and keyboard player, Ben Shive, throughout the rest of the concert. I felt that perhaps Andrew could have sacrificed one or two of the older songs he played to make way for more of the genius of his companions. After all, the second act of the show is so wonderfully complete and stands very much on its own, I didn’t feel Andrew needed to make his voice heard as much during the opening act. You will love CALEB. And you will love watching the collaboration of both of these incredible artists on stage together.
As with any great story, I’ll take heed not to give it all away – but if you want to be a part of a show where your heart resonates with the harsh truths of a broken world and finds redemptive hope in the absolute reality of a risen Christ making it all right… this is the show to see.
As a wrap up, Andrew begins and ends his musical story with a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins entitled “God’s Grandeur”:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
It is a seared and smudged world to be true; but thank God for the morning and the Spirit’s bright wings.
And thank God for truth-telling, hope-filled music.
Thanks Gail! On our site, you can watch Andrew & company perform "The Cornerstone" from this last weekend.
Gail Hafar is a wife, mother of 2 boys, and future Tony-award winning actress. She also loves reading the Bible, even the geneologies.