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Monday, January 19, 2015

The Soapbox Troubadors and Phil Keaggy

The Soapbox Troubadors
Phil Keaggy
The McPherson Opera House
By Lydia Lowe
(all photo's by Bob Hunter)

     This past Saturday night at The McPherson Opera House saw a double shot of feel good Christian music when Hutchinson's own, Soapbox Troubadors opened for a sold out Phil Keaggy show.

     I'm not sure if the Troubadors sold out the house or Phil Keaggy, or a combination of the two. I was sitting in the uppermost balcony and I'll have to say that most of the crowd up on that level were there for the Troubadors. In fact, after the Troubadors played the upper balcony cleared out. That's too bad because they missed a great Phil Keaggy show.
     The Soapbox Troubadors played a 20 minute set of 4 of their more well known songs: everything from I Walk Alone, Train, The Road, and Home. The entire auditorium was enthusiastically clapping, hooting and hollaring after every song. Those sitting around me in the upper balcony, at intermission, immediately pulled out their phones and googled the band's website.

     At intermission, the stage was transformed and Phil Keaggy came out onto the stage to perform. The set started with Where The Morning Dawns, Strong Tower (a crowd favorite and special request), then he played Shades of Green, a beautiful instrumental with an Irish twist. 

     Keaggy also spent some time goofing on stage, telling some jokes and doing some really bad impressions of other entertainers. They were so bad they were good and he had everyone laughing. He has this unique ability to pull the audience in to him and it feels like it's just you and him hanging out while he plays and you forget, there is an entire auditorium full of people there with you.

     Keaggy sang a couple of covers full of hope, love and deep feeling: Make Me Feel Your Love by Bob Dylan and Here Comes The Sun by George Harrison. Both never sounded better than when Keaggy sang them. He also sang an original tune called The Salvation Army Band which was excellent. After that the music just kept washing over the audience. About an hour and a half into the show Keaggy stopped and asked the audience how long he'd been playing, as he realized his set was about over. No one wanted the show to end, so someone in the audience yelled out, half an hour, which got the entire auditorium laughing, including Phil Keaggy.

     What a great show. One of the best I've seen at The McPherson Opera House. Hopefully both The Soapbox Troubadors and Phill Keaggy will be back for a return engagement.

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