Grammy Award Winning Gospel legend, Fred Hammond returned for the third consecutive year with his Festival of Praise Tour. Joined by Gospel hit makers, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Karen Clark-Sheard, Israel Houghton, Casey J and Regina Belle, Festival of Praise stopped in Jackson, Mississippi on Tuesday night.
Hammond and friends ministered a medley of their hits including Let The Praise Begin, Alpha and Omega, Fill Me Up, Balm in Gilead, and Walker’s new sensation, Better. Constantly seeking to bring freshness and relevance, FOP took gospel music lovers on a journey through life, including current day topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement and helping marriages get through tough times. Even a few of Bell’s classics like “Baby Come To Me,” “Make It Like It Was,” and “Whole New World” were incorporated.
“We take you on a journey through the game of life,” Hammond shared, playing off the Game of Life theme for the concert. “We’re gonna call people up on stage with us and play a couple games here and there. It’s like a living sermon,”
The three hour performance was jammed packed with hit after hit. All of the artists remained on stage during most of the concert, taking turn singing their songs, engaging each other and the audience throughout the entire performance. There was an undeniable atmosphere of unity, which translates throughout the performance and ultimately the music, creating countless moments of unified praise and heartfelt sounds of worship.
Signature to his sound, Hammond utilizes an ensemble of dynamic background vocalists and some of the industry’s top musicians, including long time musical director and collaborator, Calvin Rodgers.
Adding to the excitement was the 18 foot tall LED screen, flashing lights and the double decked stage for the band. It was evident that a lot of thought, time and money were invested to bring forth a quality production.
The Festival of Praise is one of three major, multi-city tours headlined by Gospel artists for 2016. Kirk Franklin’s 20 Years in One Night presented by Live Nation and the 365 Inspiration Celebration toured earlier this year.