The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
By Virginia Ross, For The Quill
The air was hot and humid last Saturday night, but that did not stop the huge crowd that showed up to hear the Texas Tenors.
I arrived an hour early thinking to score a parking space north of the auditorium-no way! Every slot was filled and several of us circled the venue (hint: check the lots on the south side-plenty of room there.)
Three spotlights accompanied by the theme song of IPTV's Iowa Fair coverage with a backdrop of scrolling announcement of the Tenors' future engagement greeted early arrivals.
The band was set up with drums, guitars and keyboards awaiting the first notes. Before long the crowd filtered into the room and happy chatter was heard from all sides.
Who are the Texas Tenors? Six years ago on NBC's "America's Got Talent", the group won the competition and began their road to fame.
They have performed more than 1,000 concerts all over the world bringing a blend of country, classical, Broadway and current pop music. John Hagen, who is well known for his operatic roles, J. C. Fisher who grew up singing in church, doing opera and working on cruise ships to Marcus Collins who began singing at the age of 4 and copying his style from Garth Brooks and doing Broadway shows and acting on TV-these are the Texas Tenors.
Their list of accomplishments is long. But they are more than that; in each show they offer a personal touch with humor and humility and this concert was no exception.
Beginning with "Coming to America," the group followed with "Boot Daddy;" we all knew that the show was going to be great. "Amazing Grace" was presented with the background screen scrolling through serene scenery.
The song from their new album, Rise, "I Don't Want to Let You Go" poignantly spoke of sorrow.
Hit followed hit-"Galveston," "Desperado," and "Thank God, I'm A Country Boy" melting into "Country Roads."
The audience knew them all and at times was humming or singing along.
What really won the hearts of the audience was when Marcus Collins tromped off stage and began talking to the audience.
Gleefully kidding first one and then another; taking a cell phone shot, calling a number only to discover it was the Mom of the cell phone owner who was sitting right next to her and ever ruffling the hair of a distinguished gentlemen. Collins was Mister Personality!
After a swinging set of "Kansas City" by the orchestra, the group introduced each member individually giving them credit for their part in the show.
They also mentioned the three charities that they support: The Child Fund International, Home for our Troops and The Mission Project.
This is the first time since I've been attending concerts that I remember a group mentioning causes close to their hearts and really discussing them.
As all good things must end, "God Bless America" had the crowd adding their voices and another great show was over.
This is the third time the Tenors have been in Burlington and that is remarkable!
This is a high profile group that headlines in Las Vegas and Branson!
And to think they would appear in Burlington, Iowa! If they come again, don't miss the show; it's phenomenal.