Saturday, March 28, 2009

Francesca Battistelli/Group 1 Crew Come Home to Orlando

It was a time for coming home and performing for the people that were so much a part of the raising of two fine Christian acts. Lake Mary’s Francesca Battistelli and two members of Group 1 Crew returned to the church that they had their humble beginnings, Faith Assembly in Orlando on Friday night.

The show was started by the church’s worship band, Mainstream Worship. The 11-member group (at least on this evening) got the crowd started with five power packed songs. The great part of this band was how seamless the songs came together. Don’t be surprised if you see more performers coming out of the church into the mainstream of Christian music.

The morning talents of local radio Z 88.3 introduced the lady striving to be new contemporary artist of the year at the Dove Awards, Francesca Battistelli. She performed most of the songs from her My Paper Heart CD and a new song that should be on the new project. She didn’t give insight to when the new CD will come, but she did clue that a new single would be released to radio from My Paper Heart. My personal favorites from the concert were Forever Love, as the crowd sang out in praise, Beautiful Beautiful, a song that jumped out as she played her guitar and finally, her current top five smash, Free To Be Me, to close out the set.

After a brief intermission, we were introduced to Group 1 Crew. I have to say that I bought the CD before I left for the Sunshine State, but never had the chance to listen to it before the show, so every song was new to me and I loved it! Every song was awesome, but the best part was the crew taking us back to hits of the 80’s and rocked the house. Even though the main members of Group 1 Crew are the three that you see on their Ordinary Dreamers CD, the backdrop was almost as good. They had over 20 different dancers during parts of the performance and they helped take the electricity of the show to another level. They closed the show with the former #1 song, Keys to the Kingdom.

The meet and greet afterwards showed what every introduction said about all the performers, that they were as sincere, kind and stewards of the Gospel offstage as on it. It was fun to meet all the performers and even though the lines kept moving due to the sheer numbers of people wanting to reunite, everyone got a moment or two to talk and share a smile. The event staff was really great as well. I do want to send out a big thanks to Pastor Darryl for being kind and making sure I was taken care of while I was there. If you are in the downtown Orlando area, give Faith Assembly a chance to take to you to the throne room with a really good worship and message. They have four services on Sunday mornings (8:00, 9:30, 11:15 am and 1:00 pm) and a Wednesday night service at 7:00 pm.

On a final note, if you want to help Francesca in her pursuit of the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, you can do so with your cellular phones. If you text Dove 81 to 72648, you can do this as many times as you want. I did hear that one lady had called over a dozen times so far.

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