Thursday, July 6, 2017
Well howdy Home Fries and curious readers! I know I haven’t been writing much lately, but life has had some interesting plot twists for me and I’m still recovering. Home Free, however seems to be on a roll. New videos, a new tour and more milestones! But it seems to me they did something recently that has just blown away their fans. Both the fans that were there to witness this phenomenal show of talent and love for their fans and those of us that got to see the video of this completely soul staggering performance.
I wasn’t at this outdoor concert but on June 17th Home Free was performing at the Kearney Amphitheater when a rather big storm was building around them. The city personnel told everyone to get under the pavilion, three songs into the Home Free concert. They were escorted off the stage to a safe place. Many of the fans, however, stayed behind to wait out the storm, which included a walk in the rain to the pavilion. An estimation from one of my friends that was there, was that there were close to 1500 people at the concert and about 700-800 left, the rest stayed. Approximately twenty minutes later, here comes Austin, Tim, Rob, Chance and Adam on that same walk in the rain and they stand up on a picnic table. We are very thankful that security stayed with our boys and kept them safe. Tim explained that the storm was not going anywhere, but they wanted to come out and share one acoustic song for the fans that stuck around. Austin begins to tell everyone, as loud as he can, to gather close and they will perform probably their most successful song, so far. He tells everyone to get close and be real quiet. And among lighting, thunder and rain, on a picnic table and no mics, these five men proceed to sing How Great Thou Art. Do you have chills yet, because I do!
I’m watching this video and I can barely hear the pitch pipe and the guys humming. I fear I won’t be able to hear them. Silly me! They came in with sweet harmony and then there came the thunder. You know what I mean, Tim. His strong booming voice gently brings this off mic beauty into full blown perfection. That big voice softly gets the crowds attention and even the storm outside couldn’t be heard. I sat back in my chair and took a deep breath as Tim resonates the gorgeous words. The harmony is soulful and dulcet.
Without knowing how this was going to affect me, Rob started singing. To say I got chills and my heart fluttered, is just the beginning. When Rob sang, I cried, plain and simple. His voice was pure, saintly and simply divine. We all knew how beautiful Rob’s voice is, but in this setting with no mics and bad weather and the fans so close, he made me cry. I was so taken aback by the sheer exquisiteness of his vocals. Beyond words.
I think Austin could do every concert without a mic. So much power this young man possesses. Power, talent and emotion. Every time he hits that one note on “soul” in the chorus my stomach would quiver and I’d close my eyes and take in his magnificent voice.
So at this point, I’m a mess and the song isn’t even half over. Then Adam gets his solo and I couldn’t help but smile like a proud mama. You know that feeling when your kid gets a small solo in a choir concert. Adam is so known for this remarkable vocal percussion talent that when he sang with such a pleasing voice, I was full of pride.
Oh, but their voices weren’t the only thing that was amazing that night, as they get close to the end of the song and sing the words “…I shall bow in humble adoration…” the lights go out briefly, the thunders rolls and the lightning flashes, as if the skies and the powers that be, approve. But the guys never break, they keep this lovely hymn going.
And then Rob brings this song home with a stunning note and they end on a brilliant chord. My heart is thumping, I have chills, I’m smiling and crying, I’m completely overwhelmed by this single performance. However, when they finally finished the roar of sheer astonishment and gratitude from the crowd was deafening and staggering. I was almost as moved by the crowd’s reaction as I was by Home Free singing. Almost! What an incredible treat for the fans that braved the storm and what an incredible group of men to come back out in that storm to share their greatest success, off mic, with their dedicated fans.
My fave five guys of Home Free never cease to amaze me. I can’t wait to see what they do next. I’m certain whatever it is, it will make someone’s day, fill someone’s heart and make someone smile from ear to ear. They can quiet a thunder storm or simply make it the ideal background for a song like How Great Thou Art. I’m a little jealous of those that got to hear this live, but I’m grateful for those that shared their experience with us.
Before I leave you, let me make mention of one other man that needs to be recognized. I was told that this concert at the Kearney Amphitheater was dedicated by Home Free to Mr. Ed Haney. Ed was not just a fan, he was THE fan! I never got to meet Ed or his wife Lisa, but everyone knew them and loved them. Ed passed away shortly before this concert and he will be missed by so many people, Home Fries and non-Home Fries alike. He was an important and adored figure in the Kearney school district. His concert photos of Home Free were the best and I can only hope to be half as good as he was, some day. Ed now has the best seat in the house for every concert. Here’s to you, Ed.
Home Free your gift to your fans was soul riveting, thank you!
Here’s a couple links to videos from this surprise acoustic version of How Great Thou Art.