It lived up to its billing to break every chain: the gospel concert that saw hundreds of people forgetting their inhibitions and breaking out in mass praise, dance and song last Saturday evening at the Wildey Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Even though the headliner Grammy Award and multiple Dove Award winner and Billboard chart-topping singer/songwriter, pastor and workship minister Tasha Cobbs blew the roof off with her high energy and powerful vocals, none of the seven supporting acts was by any stretch of the imagination of any significantly lesser impact.
Interactive patrons in the packed stands and reasonably occupied floor area were seldom in their seats throughout the near four-hour concert that reflected a wide variety of moods –– from celebratory (dancing in the aisles, on the spot and congaline-style) to prayful (raised hands, closed eyes and persons prostrate on the floor). It was not the typical concert where artistes came on stage, simply sang and left. This event was puctuated by lots of ministry, testimonies of life-changing stories and miracles, words of spiritual encouragement and inspiration, which complemented the fantastic music –– and dance.
The chains started to break, one may say, even from the saxophone solo of the National Anthem, as the talented Kieshell Rawlins “blew” the anxious audience into the frame of mind for what was to follow. And soon, the creative juices began to flow through the Gymnasium when Praise Academy Of Dance performers opened up a visual panorama of a collage of excitable colourful outfits, while choreographing their rhythmic bodies to the hit worship song My God Is Awesome.
The marriage of the message and music in that song, its interpretation and the potpourri of happy colours displayed by the dancers, was more than sufficient to continue the process of breaking every chain –– and preparing those in attendance for what would turn out to be an unforgetable act. Anointed Praise, nine incredibly gifted young men and women led by musical director extraordinaire Lester Welch, graced the stage, mesmerizing everyone with their honey-coated, a capello vocal quality and harmonies.
Needless to say, their rendition was angelic, thrilling and chilling. In fact, one person was heard to say: “It sent goose pimples through me.”
We need to hear much, much more from this awesome assemblage of Barbadian artistes.
Zeena Edwards, a worship leader and singer, who was born in Grenada and lives in Canada, raised the tempo from this point and brought the Gymnasium to its feet, as people could be seen dancing up a storm all over the place to the soca rhythm of It’s Already Better.
De Warrior: the name alone sends people in the gospel arena wild. And this is what happened last Saturday at the concert. Before he appeared on stage, before he sang a note, the whole place went crazy with loud cheers as the emcee announced his name. He did not disappoint. De Warrior “mashed up” the Gymnasium with such “smash songs” as his trade mark release De Blood, along with Holy Ghost Come Touch Me, his newest single Goodie, Goodie and his “live” collaboration with vocal powerhouse Allison Norville-Forde I Am Changed.
The award-winning Jamaican reggae and gospel artist Carlene Davis delivered the goods with her mostly reggae renditions of catchy offerings like This Island Needs Jesus, Rivers Of Babylon, Nothing But The Blood, a mdeley of traditionals that include Walk Holy, What A Mighty God We Serve and Hallelujah, and her latest release One Handful of Salt.
Neesha Woodz, who was the penultimate musical act, showed her consistency as an artiste who identifies with her Caribbean roots. She rocked the house in her inimitable style with big rhythmic numbers such as Adrenaline, Jesus Coming Back Soon and I Love My Jesus.
Tasha Cobbs then “upped the temperature” and the place was never the same again. The 2014 Grammy Award-winning queen of contemporary gospel music and Billboard’s 2013 and 2014 number one chart topper for Break Every Chain and Grace, took patrons through a spiritual and musical journey of worship and ministry and personal testimony that would remain indelible, I am certain, in their minds for a long, long time.
Of course, Tasha delivered the hit song everybody was waiting for –– Break Every Chain. The response was overwhelming. The concert ended –– appropriately –– with Praise Academy Of Dance performers, bedecked in army green and hands chained, producing a dramatic and luring interpretation of the Break Every Chain theme.
See more photos from the concert in our digital ePaper at http://epaper.barbadostoday.bb.