What Happened When I Attended An Amy Grant Concert

From the ages of 11 to 14, I was infatuated with Amy Grant. She was the very first pop artist I became actively obsessed with. (You can read about my detailed history with her HERE.) While many of my peers at the time were getting into grunge and hip-hop, I was fine listening to the little bubblegum pop that was available on Top 40 in the early 90s along with the adult-contemporary hits my mom would blare in her Pontiac 6000-LE.

So when I was given the opportunity to attend and write about her concert at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts last weekend (just 20 miles south of Los Angeles), I took it with unadulterated excitement...and a little trepidation. Of course I didn't go alone. I brought along fellow Amy Grant fanatic (and fantastic YA novelist) Aaron Hartzler, the only other person I know in the Greater Los Angeles Area who could appreciate this experience.

I knew what I was getting myself into. Amy Grant is first and foremost known her for Christian music background, so the few songs she sang about Jesus didn't surprise me. I was also, as expected, one of the youngest audience members in the venue. Also expected: the minimal set-up on stage. The concert consisted of acoustic renditions of her greatest hits. She even took a few requests from the crowd in between candid conversations with her 3-man band. It was cozy, intimate, and warm.

And yes, we totally geeked out when she performed our favorites.

Did it feel like I was back at Sunday Mass at New Rochelle's Blessed Sacrament Church? Not at all. But as soon as she started performing songs I hadn't played in 20 years, the memory floodgates were opened. I started remembering little moments from my preadolescence. It was like my own personal Terence Malik film playing in my mind...

Buying the cassette single of "Every Heartbeat" in the summer of 1993 because it had the Body & Soul Remix, which was also the radio version I preferred and loved...Playing it non-stop at sleepaway camp on my crappy Aiwa cassette player (you can imagine how many friends that got me)...repeatedly calling in to New York's 95.5 WPLJ to request the song during their lunchtime request hour (it was never played)...playing Heart in Motion in its entirety (on cassette) in my father's Chevy Corsica during a family road trip to Washington D.C. in the spring of 1992...falling into a wormhole as a 13-year-old and discovering her older discography (1988's Lead Me On is quite good)...voting for Amy's "I Will Remember You" as the Class Song for my 8th grade graduation (the majority ruled in favor of Boyz II Men's "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday" - go figure)...

It was quite the night. And here's her acoustic rendition of the ballad from the concert:

To say I was hit by a wave of nostalgia would be an understatement.

Yours truly,
A Proud Grantfan.



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