Petra: Hannah L.'s Concert Review

Set List:
Beyond Belief
Trading My Sorrows
Just Reach Out
We Fall Down
Here I Am To Worship
Lord I Lift Your Name On High
Enter In
Lord Reign In Me
Blessed Be Your Name
Not Of This World
Why Should The Father Bother?
Sight Unseen
It Is Finished
Jekyll And Hyde
Show Your Power
II Guys from Petra Tour
September 7th, 2007
Hope Christian Reformed Church
Thunder Bay, Ontario

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"The concert is going to be awesome, and I'm not just being a smarty when I say that." So said John Schlitt when we talked to him and Bob Hartman just minutes before the II Guys from Petra concert started. We had just gotten to the venue, and we could hardly wait to "Rock out" with two of our favorite band members. Our enthusiasm was not dampened a bit by the five hour drive to Thunder Bay in the middle of a major thunderstorm, or by the sandwiches that we almost swallowed whole in our rush to get to the concert on time, or by the fact that this was only a "II Guys" concert and not officially "Petra". No sir. We knew that this concert would be great, and we were expecting great things. And boy, was John ever right when he said it would be awesome. Number one exciting thing: They were selling the Captured in Time and Space DVD at the merch table, which means I was finally able to pick up a copy. (Note: If you don't have the CITAS DVD, get it; it will blow you away.) Anyway, we were able to spend a few minutes chatting with the "Guys" before the concert, which is the number two exciting thing. After John assured us that the concert would be awesome, we found second-row seats (Number three exciting thing) and we sat down and waited... and waited... and waited. Meanwhile the church was filling up fast; there were more than 300 people there altogether. That may not seem like a lot, but believe me, it's a big crowd for northern Ontario. Finally, almost an hour later, the concert started at last. After a short introduction by the pastor and a reminder about the workshop (yes, II Guys did a Praise and Worship Workshop the next morning and it was incredible), the Guys started their first song, "Dance". They couldn't have picked a better song to start the night with. And let me tell you, we were "Dancing". After that came "Beyond Belief". Ah yes. The rocking Petra classic that every Pethead knows. (or should know) It took us a couple of seconds to get used to the song with no drums, no bass, no keyboards, and an acoustic guitar; but after we got used to it, watch out! The whole place vibrated everyone sang so loudly. Bob was playing away on that acoustic guitar like his life depended on it, and John let his awesome voice soar through the speakers like there was no tomorrow. The experience was truly Beyond Belief. And it only got better. The next song was "Trading My Sorrows". During the part where it goes "Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord Amen" everyone was singing (shouting, rather) along and pumping their fists in the air. Including us, of course. They paused after that while Bob talked about the beginning of Petra and how the band got started. Then they started the music again. After several more songs, including "Enter In", Bob left the stage while John gave his testimony. Then they allowed the audience to take a ten-minute break. Most everyone got up and walked around, waiting patiently (or impatiently) for the show to start again. Sure enough, the Guys showed up and continued the night with some more fantastic songs, namely "Lord Reign In Me" and "Blessed Be Your Name". After that Bob talked for about five minutes, just giving a basic summary of what it means to be a Christian. Then came the classic Greg X. Volz era songs, "Not Of This World" and "Why Should The Father Bother?" They picked up the pace quite a bit with "Sight Unseen" and "It Is Finished". And the fans absolutely screamed with joy when Bob started the intro to "Jekyll and Hyde". And, lastly, they did "Creed". We all cheered, whistled, applauded and generally expressed our extreme approval for almost five minutes. Then, everyone really cheered, because we all heard John ask, "Can we do one more?" and Bob replied, "Yeah, one more." So they played one more song, which was "Show Your Power". Then, it really was over. The Guys got a standing ovation, which they appreciated a lot. But was the excitement over? No way! Everyone rushed to the lobby to wait for the Guys to come out. And sure enough, they came out to mingle with the crowd and sign some autographs. I got some posters autographed, I got my picture taken with John and Bob, we spent quite some time chatting with the Guys and telling them what an awesome job they did, and I also managed to buy a Vertical Expressions CD. (I highly recommend it) I appreciated the fact that the Guys came out and talked with, I think, every person there. And nearly every Pethead had a story to tell. Favorite songs, changed lives, anecdotes... it felt more like a family reunion than a concert. There are so many things about this concert that I'll never forget; Bob Hartman joking about how cool the name Thunder Bay is... John Schlitt complaining that he didn't want to get up at 7:00 in the morning to do the Workshop... and the unforgettable experience of being able to lift hands and voices to the Lord with 300 other Christians and Petra fans. Am I glad I went to the concert? Yes. We "Entered In", we "Lifted His Name on High", we "Danced", and when "It was Finished", we came out of there feeling like we'd had a taste of heaven. Definitely a Once-in-a-lifetime experience. As Bob Hartman said in the song "We Hold Our Hearts Out To You", "We are all bound in our hearts by a common thread; We look to You Who made us one, to give us strength and bring our hearts back to where we've begun." That's what it was all about. I would definitely recommend a II Guys concert to every Pethead or to anyone for that matter. II Guys Rocks!!

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April 29th, 2012 in Bartlesville, OK

September 7th, 2007 in Thunder Bay, Ontario

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in Worcester, MA

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