Live Review: Soweto Gospel Choir

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Soweto Gospel Choir

Belk Theater

Nov. 23, 2008

Courtesy of Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
  • Courtesy of Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

The Deal: South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir visited the Q.C. for a performance at Belk Theater.

The Good: Soweto Gospel Choir made its entrance to the stage through the isles of Belk Theater. The group played songs inspired by African spirit, spiritual awareness and a longing for peace and unity. Most of the choir’s set came from its latest album Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre, but in addition the performance featured an energy-filled dance and canteen segment. The latter, proved the group knows how to do a lot more than eating at the table. Sitting at a table with plates, glasses and dining utensils, members of the group had an all out impressive jamming session. Most of the songs sung during the show were sung in Zulu, Sotho and English with different soloists taking the lead and tribal drums pounding away. The choir put forth eloquent covers of Bob Marley’s “One Love,” Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Remember You,” and traditional gospel tunes “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Amazing Grace.” Soweto Gospel Choir ended with “World In Union.”

The Bad: Nothing was bad about this performance. The whole show was on target musically and the visuals were magnificent. Members of Soweto Gospel Choir wore bright, traditionally decorated attire from South Africa. The dancers were fast and flexible, some of them kicking their legs up towards their heads and dancing vigorously across the stage.

The Verdict: A deeply moving performance. It’s understandable just why the Soweto Gospel Choir is sweeping the nation with its music. The sets intensity was awe-inspiring throughout, with many of the songs making you want to clap your hands and stomp your feet. After the show, members of Soweto Gospel Choir accepted donations in the lobby of Belk Theater.

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