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Amy Grant Live On June 19th, 1998, Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT

Amy Grant returned to Connecticut Friday night for a performance at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford. Billed as "An evening with…", the show had no opening act even though it was scheduled to begin at 7:30. Amy didn’t actually take the stage until 7:45 but treated her fans to some 2 hours and 20 minutes of music before wrapping things up around 10:30 (a short intermission was included).

The first set included most of her biggest pop hits including several from her latest "Behind The Eyes" release. Songs that were originally recorded as duets with both Vince Gill and Peter Cetera were performed live with band members very credibly filling in on vocals. Some songs seemed to be given a whole new life by the addition of some excellent ‘rock-oriented’ guitar work from long-time Grant guitarist Jerry McPherson. Several song arrangements were also opened up because of the freer nature of the live performance. Amy also got the crowd on their feet early by suggesting that one song was a great one to dance to.

Amy’s voice was in fine form tonight and fans were treated to an incredible performance from the amazingly-still-underrated artist. Her string of top 40 hits is still overshadowed by the fact that she proudly falls into the ‘contemporary Christian’ category. Her fans know all too well that regardless of how it’s classified, great music is still great music.

The second set included a solo acoustic section which featured Grant classics "Father’s Eyes," "I Will Remember," and a duet of "Thy Word," performed with an audience member who had earlier asked if he could sing a song with her. After determining which of her songs he knew, Amy invited him onstage and the two shared a mic for the most humorous moments of the show. She also performed a new song which she said was being considered for her next album. The band returned and picked up right where they had left off in this great performance. The climax was an absolutely show-stopping version of the vocal workout "El Shaddai" from her 1982 "Age To Age" album. For the archivists out there, the show included performances of 10CC’s 1970s hit "The Things We Do For Love" and Joni Mitchell’s "Big Yellow Taxi."

This performance was Amy Grant at her best and her fans truly appreciated the experience. Between songs fans approached the stage and presented her with roses, cards, and even a handmade quilt. Hopefully it won’t be too long before she returns to Connecticut and we can do this all over again.