By Audrey Rock
Photos Brian Feinzimer
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/14/18 – Amy Grant won’t let something as little as the worst flu strain in years keep her from performing. The now 57-year-old beauty took the stage on Thursday night at Musco Center for the Arts on the pristine campus of Chapman University, declaring that her show would be a “kinder, gentler” event due to her recent illness.
The laid back but fully joyous sets that followed were Amy Grant, through and through. Sweet, sincere, conscientious, nostalgic, and full of wholesome, spiritual meaning. Grant is well known for her soft Christian anthems.
“You might be thinking tonight ‘I don’t want to do anything tonight. I just want to put on my pj’s, if I hadn’t bought these incredibly expensive tickets,’” she said to a laughing audience. “But music has a way, you know, of kind of coaxing us out of our…funk. Whatever it is, and saying: ‘come on, participate!’”
Participate they did, sometimes even shouting out encouragement. “You look great!” shouted out a fan from the audience when Grant noted again some effects of the flu. Grant played to a sold out crowd. The show was split into two sets, the first of which heavily connected her to her loyal base. She played all three of her most recognizable mainstream songs—“Takes a Little Time,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” and her smash 1991 hit “Baby, Baby,” from the album “Heart in Motion” were among the favorites, drawing sing-in participation from the crowd.
Grant also performed “If I Could See,” “Better Than a Hallelujah,” (from the 2010 “Somewhere Down The Road album), “What is the Chance of That”, “Saved by Love,” and “Don’t Try so Hard,” a track originally featuring James Taylor, among others.
Grant addressed the audience as though they were old friends, telling them family stories about vinyl records and dancing at picnics, in her welcoming, slight drawl. She was particularly affable in the moments between songs.
By the time she reached “Baby Baby” at the end of the first set, Grant’s flu-ravaged voice had clearly been strained by her recent illness, as she struggled to hit the high notes and push through the performance while keeping perfect composure. But, in her typical fashion, she made the very best of it. She finished the final few lines of her song, which include “I’m so glad you’re mine.”
“And I am so glad that song is over!” she laughed.
The flu, though, or any variation of setback that might interfere with an artist, doesn’t win when it comes to Grant. Her optimism is the one thing that shines through constantly and reverberates in each and every song. “You blink, and suddenly 42 years have gone by,” she sighed early in the show. Thank heaven for Amy’s fans, the passage of time has not silenced her voice—or her guitar.
For more information on The Musco Center for the Arts, visit www.muscocenter.org. For more information on Grant’s current tour, visit www.amygrant.com/tour