It’s been a long week, y’all. I’m not going to lie.
But it’s Friday. Fun is in store. And the Christmas vacation kind of got started last night, even though I won’t be off work until Monday around 11 a.m. That’s because last night I went to the Andrew Peterson Christmas show at the Ryman. I’ve set a personal best of attending two years in a row. That’s kind of sad!
So, anyway, last night. I met my friend Janice and her husband, Jason, for dinner at Demos’ before the show. She brought me dark chocolate and apparently didn’t recognize me (?) when they got to the restaurant, and I brought exhaustion and hopefully somewhat coherent conversation. The place was packed with people also going to the show. It’s funny to say that because I didn’t talk to any of them, I could just tell. We Christian AP fans, we give off a vibe. As we were leaving, I overheard one of the waiters saying to another, “there’s something at the Ryman tonight. Some Andrew Peterson guy or something. . .”
That made me laugh, if only because I feel like I’ve had that conversation a million times before. Even this week when I was expressing my excitement about going to some coworker friends. Well, that actually devolved into one of them asking if AP was one of my boyfriends (a term I jokingly apply to male musicians I like, actors I like, and sometimes grocery stores I like, such as Trader Joe’s). I tried to explain that my love and adoration for Andrew has to do with the songs he sings, the lyrics he writes, and the general manner in which he lives his life and that being a fan does not necessarily mean you have a crush on the artist. I don’t know that my point was ever fully understood, but oh, well. I mean, earlier in the day this friend had also dissed Andy Davis to my face. TO MY FACE!
But I love, love, love the Andrew Peterson show. I love the collection of musicians. I love the teamwork. I love Gabe Scott and Ben Shive playing every instrument imaginable. I love AP’s new songs, introduction faux pas, and Jill Phillip’s amazing voice. I love that moment at the end when all the artists come back on stage and all this amazingly beautiful musical stuff is happening, then all the sudden they start singing together “Sing out with joy for the brave little boy, who was God yet made Himself nothing.” I love the AP show because it gets my focus on what Christmas is, who I am, and how dearly I am loved.
Some favorite moments from the night:
• AP’s newer songs that he played in the round. I like it when people have the talent to write beautiful music and lyrics and still make fun of themselves.
• Andy Gullahorn’s funny, honest, and thought-provoking song.
• The voice that is Jill Phillips and the beautiful song she and Andy G. sang together about marriage.
• Andy Osenga. His voice. His guitar. He makes me smile.
• AP introducing one of the artists as someone he “met at a singles conference.”
• Discussion of bad band names with Marcus Myers.
• Brandon Heath singing “Deliver Me.” It’s one of my favorite songs in the BTLOG set and for me, Derek Webb is the standard. But Brandon Heath brought it last night and I give him two thumbs up. Also, it was cool to be there for the first time he got to sing on the Ryman stage. (Did you guys know that I’ve sang on the Ryman stage? OK, I sort of sang near the Ryman stage, but I have also been backstage. . . )
• That final song when all the artists join AP on stage and sing praises to God for what He has done in Jesus.
• And finally, the congregational singing AP uses to draw people back in after the intermission and end the concert. I love those moments, except this year, they were disrupted by some strangely operatic, quavery voiced soprano somewhere near me who sang an octave higher and held her notes longer than anyone around us. I got really tickled by this at one point. And then, later, Janice said for a minute she thought it was me. She almost got killed on a Nashville sidewalk for that.)
It was a good night, even if Blog Friend Scott and I were in the same room (albeit the entire Ryman filled to capacity) and never saw each other. How do these things happen?!
Anyway, happy Friday!