Agape Festival May 3, 1991

by Brian Q. Newcomb

CCM Magazine August 1991

Amid gray skies and "it could rain any moment" clouds, Rich Mullins approached the 8,000 tital audience of Greenville College's Agape Festival as if the moment was special, even sacramental. Even the newest material from The World As Best As I Remember It, Vol. 1, was presented in call-and-response form, or was so accessible that by the second chorus, it was easy to grasp for Mullins' fans. Of the 13 songs Mullins played, nearly every track was a contemporary Christian music radio staple, like "Awesome God", "Other Side of the World", "A Few Good Men", and "If I Stand", or in the case of "Step by Step" and "I See You" - will be soon. Mullins introduced "While The Nations Rage" with the relevant observation, "[President] Bush worries me with all this talk about the 'new world order.' Nations will always make fools of themselves and God will always be God."

Supported by a band he introduced as "My neighbors over in Wichita," Mullins gave the stage over to Avenue G for gwo songs. The band ably backed Mullins, who played acoustic guitar, keys, and hammer dulcimer (on "One Thing"), along with his ever-present side man Beaker. Avenue G's strong backing vocals and energized performances routinely overcame the standard wind-blown festival mix for an exceptionally strong, and professional sound.

Rich Mullins exhibited much heart, thought and depth, in music that easily transcended the cloudy day and made the most of the moment.