ATLANTA – Atlantans showed their support for gospel music on Friday by coming out in droves for the highly-anticipated King’s Men concert.
The tour, which features the likes of Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin, took place at the open-air Chastain Park Amphitheatre, tucked away in an affluent neighborhood in Buckhead.
Franklin and McClurkin were joined by Marvin Sapp and Israel Houghton, who together are four of the most successful performers on the gospel music scene. Churchgoers, church skippers and those sitting on the fence, went wild when the four men came out on the stage.
Franklin, who was very much the star of the show, kept the crowd up on their feet with his collection of hits and energetic performance style. At one point, to the delight of the enthusiastic audience, he was even up dancing on tables adjacent to the stage.
Donnie McClurkin’s “How Great Is Our God” was a crowd pleaser. Everyone sang along waving their arms as if they were back in church.
Sapp gave a heartfelt performance, which paid tribute to his late wife, MaLinda, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2010. When he belted out My Testimony, the crowds were mesmerized by his strength to overcome trials and tribulations.
Houghton, a worship leader from Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, had the voice of an angel. He delivered his hit song, “Again I Say Rejoice,” with the spirit of a sermon.
Physician Ama Brobbey and her husband flew into Atlanta on a four-hour flight from Las Vegas, just to be at the concert. The concert in Los Angeles, her closest location, was sold out. Brobbey said gospel music speaks to her heart.
“I’m a gospel music fan,” she said. “It’s so inspiring, uplifting and it’s nice to hear music you enjoy. There isn’t much you can listen to today without being offended.”
Isaac Ingram, from Team Freedom Outreach, was one of a handful of exhibitors inside the venue. “Eighty-five percent of youths in prison grew up in fatherless homes,” he told theGrio. “I am hoping to find Christian men who want to volunteer at one of the youth detention centers in Atlanta.”
The venue, which is home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, was a perfect location. Many in the audience set up picnic dinners, if they purchased a table, prior to the concert.
Though, there was disappointment. The concert, which was scheduled to start at 8pm, was delayed for two hours. The truck carrying the band’s equipment was held up on the highway en route from Houston because of a fatal car accident.
So what should have been a three-hour program was condensed into about an hour, with the concert promptly ending at 11pm due to the city ordinance. Franklin informed the audience he had pleaded with management but they had no option except to stop, or the electricity would be shut off.
The concert is part of a 15-city tour, with performances in Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and Detroit. The tour’s final stop will be in New York City at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 14.
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