The spirit of Home Free flowed through the Ryman Auditorium Friday night (April 6) as the popular country a capella group graced the stage for their first headlining show at the Mother Church of Country Music.
From the moment they opened the show with a spirited rendition of Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway,” the harmonious group of Tim Foust, Austin Brown, Adam Rupp, Adam Chance and Rob Lundquist had the sold-out crowd enamored as they delivered a series of fan favorite covers ranging from Blake Shelton to Ed Sheeran. Foust set the tone for the evening when he thoughtfully said that the show was about “love” and unity,” a facet they honorably carried throughout the evening.
The a capella stars have developed a vastly loyal fanbase since winning The Sing-Off in 2013 and they made their presence known during the two-hour show, praising the group’s exquisite talent that naturally shone through across a variety of genres. Brown proved his stamina as a pure vocalist by kicking off the original “When You Walk In” with a series of striking vocal runs that made for an awe-inspiring moment in the show, before the rest of the group joined in with their haunting harmonies. Professional dancer Brittany Cherry, who’s danced alongside Sheeran in his “Thinking Out Loud” video and appeared on Dancing With the Stars, added a new element to the acapella ballad with her beautiful ballet choreography.
The five-member band continued to demonstrate just how dynamic their voices are with a noteworthy cover of Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill,” with Rupp bringing the song to new heights by incorporating live looping that unites each of the singer’s distinctive voices, allowing them all to compellingly come together in one of the night’s standout moments. Some of the evening’s other admirable performances came in the form of their beloved rendition of “Elvira,” a stirring delivery of Vince Gill’s revered “Go Rest High on That Mountain” and when they took the 2,000 fans to church with a vibrant cover of Maren Morris’ “My Church,” turning it into a lively crowd participation number that took over the venue.
The singer’s talents shine just as powerfully on their own as they do in unison, with each of the five stars getting a chance to show off their solo talents. It’s safe to say the Mother Church has never seen anything quite like Rupp, who stopped the show when he became a human jukebox, delivering a mystifying beatbox performance that included a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” while donning a sequined jacket that illuminated the auditorium, leaving everyone in utter disbelief as to how he could imitate an entire sound system by solely using his voice. Foust, who knows how to make the crowd laugh as easily as he stuns them with his voice, shook the Ryman on more than one occasion with his astonishing bass that sent shock waves throughout the venue.
After finishing the show with their lively rendition of Shelton’s “Hillbilly Bone,” the celebrated group returned to the stage for a two-song encore that featured an emotive interpretation of Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Helplessly Hoping” and brought the night full circle with a finale of the famous “Love Train,” proving Foust’s words true that the show was meant to be a symbol of unity, something the group accomplishes with every performance.
My wife and I are always amazed at the creativity of our grandsons Konnern , and Brennig, ages eight and sixth. One evening we took them to a fast- food restaurant and, after the meal, bought them soft ice cream cones. They wandered over to another to another booth to sit with a young friend they’d met in the play area. A few minutes later looking closer they returned, licking their cones into some weird shapes. Looking closer I saw that the shapes resembled heads, complete with eyes, nose, mouth and ears!
Where did you get the idea for that? I asked. “Our friend Brenning said through lips, dripping ice cream. “He’s eight”
“Look Konner laughed, holding up his come. “A monster”. The heads;” had taken on a decidedly angry expression which delighted Brennig, who began reshaping his own cone.
The demonstration lasted only briefly while the ice cream proceeded to disappear into grinning mouths. But for those few moments we were all entertained by the deft shaping and reshaping the boys achieved with their tongues. I think God does something like that with us. He won’t settle for leaving us as he found us. As we shorten and become pliable in His presence, He’s able to to wipe out our self-centeredness and hardness of heart and reshape us for His own use, forming in us new attitudes of love and forgiveness.
It’s not time for my life to be set in stone. I want to let the Lord remold me into the shape He desires for me
And I thank my grandsons for a happy graphic demonstration of what it’s live to be in the hands of a loving God