May 11, 2002: At Albalsserdam, Holland
Reviewed by: Nick Rossell
To be fair, there was only one opening band that I really enjoyed--Swirl. FROG's time was spent with the guitarist trying to restring his guitar, and Living Stone's time was punctuated by the lead singer running around the stage. As my youth pastor said--they were the "bands with issues." We missed the other opening bands due to being slightly late.
The concert hall was about the size of a basketball court and we estimated that it contained 400 people. Furthermore there were no chairs which allowed us to go wherever we wanted despite the fact that we were late. Thus, my brother and I managed to get a place right up at the stage, and the other four in our group were only a "row" or so behind us and right at the centre.
Another wonderful thing about the concert was the informality. There was no barrier to stop the audience going near or onto the stage--I could have grabbed Quinton Gibson's leg at any time in the concert. Some young children at the centre actually sat on the stage and two girls at stood on the stage at the side. There were many cameras taking pictures, but no security guard tried to stop them.
John Schlitt put on a wonderful show. His singing was superb, but more than that he interacted with the audience. He serenaded the aforementioned children, and passed the microphone on to the aforementioned girls. He held it out for the audience to participate and even stopped singing himself to allow the crowd to shout "BEYOND BELIEF! BEYOND BELIEF!" Between songs he would give the audience an encouraging message or introduce the next song. He got the Dutch audience involved by tying a Dutch football scarf to his microphone. He even, after noticing me punching the air in time to the music, came over and gave me a high five. As Sonia Russell said, "They sure know how to get the audience going."
The music played was a brilliant combination of old and new. They played some of the songs from their latest album "Revival." The songs were "Send Revival," "Oasis," and "Meet with Me." Of course they also played some old favourites like "Beyond Belief," "He Came, He Saw, He Conquered" and the original version of "Judas Kiss."
After the concert the audience became even more involved. The band members put away their instruments (except Louie Weaver, who went to get changed--drumming does work up quite a sweat) and came to the entrance of the hall to talk to us fans and sign whatever we wanted. I got a poster and T-shirt signed by the band as well as my ticket. My youth pastor got some of his CDs signed.
Anyone could have done this but we also got some special treatment, purely by good fortune. Quinton Gibson left both his list of songs and his second plectrum on the stage. I donated the list of songs to another guy who was trying to get it. I took the plectrum for myself, but waited for Quinton to come back out and asked him if I could keep it. He let me. Straight after the concert the rest of our group and I went to the back of the hall where we had seen the support bands go in at the beginning. There we sat for a few minutes when Greg Bailey (bass guitarist) came out. We talked to him for a while and only stopped because he was asked to go to the front of the hall to join the rest of the band. "What state are you from?" Elise Hegnauer asked, hoping to hear "California" in reply. "Pennsylvania," he answered. We also appealed to him to come to Brussels some time, and I asked him if there was any chance Louie would be giving away drumsticks. He signed our tickets with Elise's blue Biro.
Then we went to the table were all the other band members were, got our stuff signed and waited for Louie Weaver. He came in and sat down. Instantly we tried to talk to him. Chris Hatton got there first. "Do you have any drumsticks?" he asked. "Do you want the broken one or the not broken one?" Louie replied. Chris chose the unbroken one--it was signed and had been used for the encore. My brother, Hamish Rossell also talked with Louie and received a pair of drumsticks--signed and used for most of the concert.
Four hours in an old church van
Fifteen Euros per person for a ticket
Fifteen Euros spent on a poster and T-shirt
Five Euros spent on dinner from McDonalds
Thirty minutes spent walking in the wrong direction causing us to be late.
Two support bands missed
Two support bands with "Issues"
Six hours of sleep in our church
Was it worth it to see Petra, live in Holland?
Yeah. Oh Yeah.