Monday, November 22, 1999

Chapman, Moore meld like two authentic friends

Enquirer contributor

        A sold-out crowd greeted old friends Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman on Saturday night at Tri-County Assembly of God in Fairfield.

        Three hours of raw musical talent, lyrical genius and playful bantering left the audience speechless.

        Mr. Chapman ranks as one of the most celebrated Christian artists of the decade. His legacy includes 31 No.1 songs, three Grammys, 38 Dove awards and 4 million album sales.

        Mr. Moore's resume also packs an extensive list of credits: 18 top 5 Christian radio hits, nine No.1 songs, two Doves and multiple Grammy nominations.

        More impressive than their accolades is their lack of ego. In a word, Mr. Chapman and Mr. Moore are authentic.

        Chapman fans eagerly anticipate the core feature of any of his concerts: tales of his family's latest exploits, both humorous and poignant.

        “Four-fifths of me is my family,” Mr. Chapman explains. “It's so much a part of what I do.”

        Songs “Fingerprints of God,” written for daughter Emily, and “What I Really Want to Say,” for wife Mary Beth, clearly demonstrate Mr. Chapman's devotion.

        An added treat were his sons, Caleb (10, on guitar) and Will (8, on drums), joining Dad on stage. Proudly introduced as the band, Two-car Garage, the trio presented a song the boys had written, “Football in the Air.”

        “There's some deep theology,” Mr. Chapman dead-panned.

        The intimate family reunion atmosphere was refreshing. Mr. Chapman intertwined older hits “Lord of the Dance,” “Free” and “Let Us Pray” with songs from his latest CD Speechless.

        Mr. Moore then joined Mr. Chapman for a string of chart-toppers the pair have co-written, such as “Up on the Mountain” and “If You Could See What I See.”

        Mr. Moore recently has distanced himself from his band (the Distance) and undergone an evolution. The result features less pounding rock and more acoustic soul.

        “String Around My Finger” from his self-titled solo project proved Mr. Moore still sports home-run power.

        When Mr. Chapman and Mr. Moore “saddled up their horses,” the crowd reared to its feet and whinnied its approval for “The Great Adventure.”

        This megahit garnered a 1993 Dove for Song of the Year. Mr. Chapman's encore of “Dive” fulfilled fans' great expectations.

        This night epitomized best friends, God's love and great times.


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