March 9, 2002: Indianapolis, IN
Reviewed by: Jon Gamble
Saturday. March 9. Pepsi Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. People were lining up out the door for Petra. I waited in the entry at about 4 pm. It was there I ran into Jen Savage, a lurker here at the zone. We argued about who's hair was cooler in Petra before finally settling on the cue ball of Greg Bailey. Finally, at about 4:30, the doors opened, and in streamed hundreds of fans, totally unaware of how much they would get rocked that afternoon.
Approximately 1200 of us filled one side of the coliseum stands, facing the stage on the ice. The arena was split into two levels, upper and lower. The upper level was six rows from the ice, and that was as close as we could get, until Sue (who was already inside in the penalty box/photo booth) spotted me and invited us down to join her and brotherTom and his wife, as well as the! webmaster from the Head East board (whose name I do not recall at this time) and his wife. We hopped the barrier and climbed into the box, rinkside, where the glass was...not...there, like the rest of the arena.
Trying to look as official as I could, I got out a pad and pencil, put my cap on backwards, and strapped a camera around my neck, so I wouldnt be thrown out, should security get wise. Heh heh heh. It worked.
The lights went down in the arena, and the fantastic five made their way to the stage at center ice. The crowd began to clap politely until we went nuts in the booth, and then the roars began. Quinton, Greg, Bryce, and Louie took their place on the stage, while John, the showman that he is, waited just a second. Q ripped into the opening power chords of *The Noise We Make,* (most definately doing Bob justice) and then John hit the stage. Flashbulbs popped, fans jumped, and the wooden floors shook. Toast to Sue having the steadicam operat! ive. Quinton definately had the chops and Greg and Louie put together some tight rhythms. While Bryce provided the ethereal background keys, John wailed out the songs, not missing a note.
From there, they went into *Creed (90)*, the vocal harmonics really coming together in the background. After that, Quinton took the spotlight again, recapturing total audience attention as he launched the opening guitar salvo to *Judas' Kiss(82)*. Bryce had an excellent Iron Butterfly-style solo in there, too, remeniscent of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, except better. John's voice is really an experience in that song. *Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows* had some serious bounce to it, as Greg and Louie shined together again.
They took a break a second while John inquired of the crowd, "How many people want to praise the Lord!" As we convincingly approved of it, *I Waited For The Lord* blasted from the 8 giant speaks at the ends of the stage. *Meet With Me! * followed after that. I would have like to hear the double guitars on that one, but Q did an awesome job. After the feedback died down, *Ancient Of Days* rocked us.
Speaking about the questions in the world after what went down six months ago in Manhatten, John called for a revival. If this country has a revival, then the world will not be far behind. John appeared to have started *Send Revival, Start With Me* on the off-beat, but then let Louie catch up to him by about the second line of the words. My personal favorite song on the album, I was encouraged by the true heartfelt emotions John put into his performance.
Then John, saying he wanted to go back to the old days, eliciting cheers, said he wanted to do an old song. Not an old Petra song, but an old hymn. That could only mean one thing. We were about to hear *Amazing Grace*. We continued to raise our hands and sing with our hearts as the music rocked from the stage.
After the praise set, we heard some *Praying Man(93)*. Louie was really into it on this one, with everyone of those speeding drum fills, he had the greatest smile on his face, praising God with his talents. About this time, John ventured out on the ice, while I prayed he wouldnt fall down and not be able to get up. He didnt miss a beat though, and got as close as he could to the fans behind the glass that hockey players would soon be slamming into.
After that, *We Need Jesus* was played, and John went right up to Greg and sang in his ear. Greg, seeming somewhat tentative, kept his smile, and kept the tune. This was the audience participation part of it, and he left the chorus up to us a few times. Sue whistled really loud and...and it hurt. But it was all better by the time *Oasis* and *He Came, He Saw, He Conquered* (the finale) were rolled out. When John goes "He rooooooooooooooooooooooose," its pure excellence. Like, bodacious. Ending with Q playing with both hands on the! neck like a maniac, it was a fitting close. As they broke the stage down, Q, Lou, and Bryce and Greg played the opening strains of *Lord I Lift Your Name On High* as a benediction. The concert was a little on the short side, clocking in at about an hour long, due to time restraints. It was definately worth every second of my ten-hour round trip.
Soon after that, we herded ourselves into the hallway, to make our way to the autograph table. I took a picture of the banners hanging in the arena, a Wayne Gretzky jersey number hung in the rafters right next to the banner for the 1989, 1990, and 1992 Pork Show one. I also took a picture of the beer lady. John took off and delivered a perfect a capella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner to open the Colonial Hockey League tilt between the Indianapolis Ice and the Bossiet Mud Bugs. Thats right, Mud Bugs. So we met the guys, took some photos, and got to have some nice conversation with them al! l. Also, Greg and Q, (the rookies, of course) had to go out on the ice to drag two fans around in a race. Quinton won, and was more than pleased to inform me of that fact. Anyway, longer story made long, John signed mousepads on my back that you all better snap up at the fan club. We said some good byes, then I bailed.