As I rolled into the parking lot of O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, I knew it was going to be a good night because the parking lot was full of cars. I got into the auditorium about 20 minutes before the scheduled start time, and there might’ve been 20 or 30 empty seats in the theatre (cap. ~950). (By the time the concert started, they had to put up around 15-20 folding chairs because they overbooked the place!)
I finally found a seat in the side arm of the balcony, second row. I was next to two young couples in my row, with their six kids sitting together in the row in front (oldest of them probably in middle school). Probably 70-80% of the remainder of the auditorium was of the gray-haired variety, so I wondered how well the guys would be received.
Devin came out to do the pre-show product special. Before announcing the special he told everybody about why he is in a sling, saying that he would never argue with his wife again (don’t worry, Ernie told everyone the real reason later in the concert).
After a couple more minutes, the guys came out and opened with the song “Singing in the Midnight Hour”.
I know that last time I was at a concert I took videos, but I decided against that because it takes away from the concert experience for me. Plus, there are enough videos already posted to YouTube from their recent concerts. So that’s where the videos in this review came from. Instead, I sat back and enjoyed the music for once and also tried to people-watch for reactions.
A majority of the first half of the concert came from the brand-new “Here We Are Again” album, which I reviewed here. The first standing ovation of the night came after “Walk With Me,” which they finished without their microphones, much like this .
After a fairly long intermission, and Doug Anderson singing “Dreamin’ Wide Awake” and “Jesus Is Holding My Hand,” they sang a bunch of songs that had been requested. Among them were “Step Into the Water,” Can He, Could He, Would He,” and of course “Get Away, Jordan.” Even after the guys were done with the song and a joke about Ian’s Right Guard taking a left turn, the audience was still standing, so they sang the chorus through one more time. That one, I wasn’t expecting! They also sang “Yesterday,” which they said they hadn’t staged in awhile, but were messing around with it at sound check that afternoon. They added a new lick at the end that was unbelievable!
Ernvis was in rare form, and the crowd gave “Can’t Help Falling In Love” a very warm reception. The kids in front of me didn’t enjoy it quite as much as their parents were next to me. After a few more songs, the guys closed the concert with songs like “You Are Welcome Here,” “His Name Is Wonderful,” “Oh, What a Savior,” and “Boundless Love.”
By the time I stepped outside it was 8:55. The concert started at 6:00. Yes, it was almost 3 hours of a concert experience I will not forget for a long time! I bought their new table project DVD “This is Ernie Haase & Signature Sound,” and it is great! Be looking out for a review of the DVD in the hopefully near future.
Here’s another nugget for my Minnesota readers. I overheard Ernie talking to someone during the intermission, and he said that they recently booked a concert for the Twin Cities (it’s not on the website yet, so hopefully its okay that I announced it).
I’ve had people tell me before that $20 is too much to see a gospel concert. But my friends, its a $20 well-spent! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you might even see Ernvis!