Sunday night in Dallas, Texas proved there’s no place like home for Kirk Franklin, who brought his “Twenty Years in One Night” world tour home to the Majestic Theatre. It’s hard to explain such an inexplicable night but still, one must try. Where would you even start? Which song did you like the best? Franklin jam packed twenty plus years of his recorded music into well over two hours of non stop music. It was a night of nostalgia and reminiscing on each phase of Franklin's career. The audience was equally as diverse as the genres Kirk has interwoven into his inimitable, signature style.
The night didn't afford DFW a 'family reunion' with Franklin's original singers, but it was a true reunion as it united old and new fans alike to celebrate the music of two generations' greatest songwriter. The magic of #TYION is that you remember your own life when you hear the songs played. You remember where you were when you fell in love with those songs and what they in turn mean to you. This is by far the best concert on tour right now and one of the most unforgettable live music experiences ever!
Simply put, it's the concert you don't want to end! Franklin made the night special for his protege's as well. Opening act Myron Butler surprised Candy West with a mid set interpolation of her debut single "Turnaround" and as part of the tour, Shaun Martin (Producer/ Musical Director) performs during intermission.
The night in Dallas was different and a celebration of Franklin's humble beginnings as well as a tip of the hat to whatever the future may hold. Franklin gave the fans what they came for, Vintage Kirk. But he also introduced them to his new album "Losing My Religion", for which he was awarded a 2016 Grammy Award for the album's first single: "Wanna Be Happy". Midway into his opening set, Franklin set the tone for the concert affirming that the crowd wanted to hear "Kirk with the S-Curl" and from before he 'got retainers for his teeth'! He delivered and the crowd was well pleased!
In a heartfelt moment, Kirk thought back on the woman that adopted him as a young boy at the age of 64, Ms. Gertrude. "She recycled cans and newspapers to pay for piano lessons...she never heard a song or cd, but I believe every song passed through her ears."
The night featured its own set of surprises and special moments. Kirk's son Caziah joined him on drums on for "Hosanna". Caziah played an interlude on "Losing My Religion". Each night during "Intercession", he hands the mic to a singer in the audience. Last night's stop in Houston netted Zacardi Cortez and his crazy vocals. The mic toss has also featured Bishop William Murphy and other gospel artists. Without fail, this is one the best moments of the night and in Dallas, it was no different as Kirk used the moment to testify about the inspirational moments that birthed the song.
It's just an idea, but don't you think Kirk Franklin should re-record "Intercession" with all the guest vocalists from this tour's mic toss? Check out Zacardi Cortez in Houston.
Kirk asked all the men in the audience to sing as he recounted moving into a new house and facing the weight of many projects 'falling through'. In a word, he was 'embarrassed' but during a meeting he whisked away to pen perhaps his most poignant piece ever, "Intercession". After rehearsing the story, Franklin led the men in a chorus, singing: "He sees me, but He hears You" (lyrics from the song).
View the SMG Photo Gallery from Sunday's concert here
This concert is so good, it's hard to fathom what could possibly be next for Kirk Franklin! Why is there no dvd for this experience? You'd bottle it up if you could! Two hours of singing, dancing and laughing. Yes, laughing...in case you didn't know, Kirk Franklin is hilarious and quite the quick wit-a real ham on stage! Kirk showed his age a little, most of his dance moves resembled pop-locking from the 80's but his showmanship was reminiscent of the late James Brown, mic stand kick included.
In all actuality, one of the most overlooked elements of the night may have been the choreography after all. Dancing together with background singers Deonis Cook and Kenyon Dixon, the night felt like a big party and not a gospel concert. At one time toward the end of the concert, Kirk shouted out, "turn that aisle into a party!" And party, they did...!
The tour has enjoyed sell out performances thus far, but this DFW stop was extra special for Franklin who repeatedly addressed the crowd as "hometown" and copiously thanked the crowd for not giving up on him during his many difficult days as a young artist.
In a moment of thanks he said to the crowd: "I want you to see yourself when you see me...I'm a product of you!" For Franklin and everybody in attendance, this stop was nothing short of special!
This leg of the tour ends this weekend in California; but as memories of this whirlwind tour fade, there'll always be lingering memories of this unforgettable night in Dallas!
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