Concert recap: Bethany Lutheran in Escanaba, MI

I just got back to my in-laws' house after playing a fun concert at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba, MI. This is the hometown and home congregation of my wife Dawn, and it's played a big role in my life for the past two decades, although I'd never played music here until today.

For the concert I stood on the top of the chancel steps, in the center of the aisle, on the exact spot where Dawn and I were married 16 years ago. Kind of amazing to occupy that exact piece of floor, after so many years and in a totally different situation. On our wedding day, I wonder what I would've thought if someone had told me that in 16 years I would play a concert from that same spot, with my children running in the aisles!

It was a nice crowd, about 50 people...a lot of Baby Boomers, who are becoming my favorite demographic. Here are some musical highlights:

+ "If You Have A Question" from my new album...I feel very strongly about this song.
+ "Dialysis Carpool" also from my new CD...after playing this one in concert a few times now, I've been able to use the song to connect to the memory of my Grandma Rundman (see the blog post with the You Tube clip from a few days ago) and I've been getting really misty eyed
+ "We're Creating Monsters"...this song is always a bit risky, but I love to play it...especially the chord progression from an A-minor chord voicing to a B-flat chord voicing. It's a weird move, and I don't know how I managed to think of it, but it sounds strangely good, and it's great fun to deliver.
+ "Oh Morning Star, How Fair And Bright"...a newer favorite hymn of mine, that moves me every time I play it. "Now, though daily, Earth's deep sadness may perplex us and distress us..."
+ "Smart Girls"...this one's been off the set list for awhile, but I played it tonight for Dawn, who impressed me so much (and continues to do so) with her nuclear intellect back when we were teenaged lovebirds
+ "Narthex" is always a delight to play in a beautiful church sanctuary, and Bethany is the perfect place for the lyrics of this song. I never tire of this song, and feel very strongly about the content, although nobody in the audience ever really comments on it, or considers it a favorite. I guess I play it for myself every night.

Anyway, it was a wonderful evening (and morning too....I played the Heartland Liturgy with some awesome local musicians for the church service this morning). Thanks to Dawn's family and friends for coming out and having fun and tolerating my musical rantings and ravings.


Anonymous said…
I have not heard you perform Narthex in any of the concerts I've attended, but it is likely my favorite of your songs (with Forgiveness Waltz, Closed out, and and and)(ok, it's one of my favorites)...and I have quoted your lines about everyone moving forward "flowing like blood through a heart" during communion in a number of devotional writings. It's an image that I,as a former cardiac nurse, find extraordinarily moving.

So, I guess I can request it the next time I hear you?

Jan Veseth-Rogers

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