Carman's 'R.I.O.T' Hits Louisville

By Sherry Watson

There was definitely "revival in the land" at Freedom Hall on April 13, as Carman made the thirtieth stop on his "R.I.O.T. Spring Tour." I hesitate to use the word "concert" to describe what I experienced — it was more like a stage show, music video, revival service and a pep rally for Jesus all in one! Freedom Hall was most likely the only auditorium in town able to hold the crowd that showed up. I was surprised at the vast range of ages in attendance, from small children to senior citizens.

There was truly something for everyone. The stage was in the middle of the hall, with four huge video screens facing the audience at every turn. Gary Oliver was the opening vocalist, and he did a great job of warming up; by the end of his set, the crowd was on their feet and ready for more.


Mixing different styles of music for maximum appeal, Carman went through many of his new songs (from the R.I.O.T. album), as well as older faves, such as "Great God," "I Will Serve the Lord," and "I Love Jesus." Aside from numerous props, costumes and well-staged dancing, there was a "mini-musical" of would-be Christian stars, which was actually Carman and his dancers imitating everyone from Elvis ("don't step on my blue suede Bible") to the Beatles ("He loves you yeah, yeah, yeah") to everyone's favorite, Michael Jackson. Sounds corny, but it was funny and the crowd adored it.

As images of space and nature were projected onto the screens, Carman read from Psalms 19 ("The Heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the works of His hands"). He also mentioned the title of his new album (Righteous Invasion of Truth), and read Webster's definition of the word "riot." He gave an invitation, and hundreds approached the stage to accept Jesus, as the crowd sang "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus."

Carman ended the show with the rock/rap hit 'Who's In the House?' from his Standard album. By this time, the audience had definitely gotten the message: "Who's in the house? / J.C., Jesus Christ is in the house tonight!"

Sherry Watson is a former D.J. with 88.5 WJIE and 104.7 WXLN FM.Carnan