Friday, August 18, 2006

a reading from the book of hot

The Signature Sound concert last night was fantastic. The guys played to a packed house of several hundred. The video trivia, Bill Gaither sing-along, and hilarious animation on the big screen were great lead-ins to the show.

A quartet called the Chancellors kicked things off with about three lemonadey barbershop numbers, including a super-tight a cappella rendition of "Turn the Radio On." If you get a chance to see these guys, take it. They dress in sober navy suits and full-length red ties, but don't hold that against them.

Then SSQ took the stage and lit the place up. From our balcony seats, my friends and I had a bird's eye view of the roof-raising hair and the spectacular footwear, which I had to explain to the newcomers. The guys were in excellent voice, and just when you thought they couldn't take the energy level any higher, they did.

And speaking of higher, Ernie sounded about as fine as I've ever heard him on his top notes. At the other end of the scale, I heard the church had to build a new basement just to accommodate Tim's subsonics. The people around me gasped in surprise when he first let loose, and I even heard one guy theorize that the low notes were electronically generated, since no human being could possibly produce such a sound.

The only dodgy moment of the evening came during "Stand By Me." The Ball Brothers joined SSQ onstage for the big group swing step, and Ernie got so carried away he almost hurtled right off the edge of the stage. He had one shoe half off it and the other treading on air. If the guys nearest him hadn't grabbed handfuls of suitcoat, he would have tumbled for sure. It was only about a foot and a half to the floor, but still. I don't think I've ever seen a man's eyes get that big that fast. But of course he took it all in stride and never missed a note.

Thumbs up for the Ball Brothers, too. They opened their set with some incredibly sweet harmony. Perfect blend. Again, if you get a chance to see these guys and buy their CD, do so. Clearly they've learned a lot already from hanging around the pros. But I think it's time they asked Ernie for some fashion advice. They have too much personality to hide it behind black undertaker suits.

Anyway. The newbies in my party are already marking their calendars for April 20, when the Gaither Homecoming returns to the Twin Cities. There was much debate in the van going home about which of the guys we should have kidnapped to take home with us. Plus, my favorite baritone, Doug, caught me staring at him in the lobby after the concert and gave me a huge grin. I think we’re going steady.

We concluded the evening with pie and laughter back at Sensational Acres. I got bed a bit late, but I had harmonious dreams. \m/


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