Sandi Patty – ‘Forever Grateful Tour’ concert review
5 Overall Score

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"Via Dolorosa" with "The Old Rugged Cross"

Sandi Patty – ‘Forever Grateful Tour’ concert review

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Sandi Patty says ‘goodbye’ with gratefulness—CLICK HERE for tour dates  + tickets

For more than 30 years, Sandi Patty has served as gospel music’s ultimate ambassador to the world, collecting more than 40 Dove Awards, five GRAMMYs, four Billboard Music Awards and selling over 12 million albums. Along the way, she’s entertained Presidents Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes, repeatedly slayed The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, sold out the most prestigious venues on earth and basically became Christian music’s extremely versatile equivalent to Barbra Streisand.

These days, “The Voice” (as she’s commonly and lovingly called), is 60-years-old and on the road to retirement, citing a desire to spend more time with her three grandchildren (without having to put on her make-up face) and adapt a lower profile as an artist-in-resident at an Oklahoma City church where her husband Don Peslis is a pastor. Though that’s all coming right around the corner, the Gospel Music Hall Of Famer, best-selling author and motivational speaker is still in the midst of Forever Grateful: The Farewell Tour (tickets), which at 110+ shows, is getting awfully close to Cher’s never-ending swansong.

However, this really is Patty’s last hurrah on a tour of this magnitude as she insisted at both a pre-show Q&A with platinum and premium ticket-buyers, and later, to the general audience at a just shy of sold out Community Christian Church in the Chicago suburbs. Even so, she went out with a musical bang (and tone of sincere thankfulness), turning in an exhaustive, two-act performance that touched on almost all of her major career milestones (sans “Was It A Morning Like This”), one-of-a-kind interpretations, plus some collaborative help from her talented family and fellow friends from the contemporary classical group Veritas.

The set began with just Sandi and her four-piece band diving right into “Anthem Of Praise” (from her aptly titled newest album Forever Gratefulbuy), demonstrating a remarkable range that repeatedly came across with effortless grace. From there, she explored a treasure trove of several more worshipful favorites joking, “if you remember some of these, you’re older than you think,” while managing to instantly erase the years since the world first fell in love with the former Gaither dynasty background singer.

Soon after, Patty spread her creative wings in the soulful/southern blend of “Farther Along,” along with a remake of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer,” co-starring her bi-lingual hubby. Veritas also joined her on several occasions, culminating in a triumphant rendering of “How Great Thou Art” prior to intermission that was quite possibly the closest anyone could get to heaven on earth.

The headliner returned with additional passion on her classic “Love In Any Language,” walking into the crowd for a “We Are The World”-like moment and adorning the diversity anthem with bits of sign language. And despite first delivering the song several decades ago (before resurrecting it on Forever Grateful alongside a slew of major mainstream and contemporary Christian guest vocalists), iconic lines such as “though the rhetoric of government may keep us worlds apart/there’s no misinterpreting the language of the heart” is perhaps more applicable now than ever before.

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About The Author

Andy Argyrakis
Contributing Editor

Andy Argyrakis is a Chicago-based entertainment writer/photographer who appears in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Entertainer, Daily Journal, Concert Livewire, Hear/Say Magazine and Image Chicago (to name a few). Additional photo credits include Fuse TV, Live Nation, Nikon, Pollstar, Celebrity Access, Paste Magazine, MTV.com and Vibe.com. He’s also the author/narrator of “Access Matthews” (an audio CD tracing the career of Dave Matthews Band) and spends considerable time on tour, including outings with Arlo Guthrie, The Guess Who, Madina Lake (on Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution) and Gospel Music Channel’s “Gospel Dream” (where he served as season one judge).

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