×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hopeville Tour

The reigning kings and queen of urban gospel had more than enough firepower and passion to keep the four-hour Hopeville show moving at a smooth, never preachy, pace. The Broadway-like "Love of My Life" provided a pulpit for Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin and Kirk Franklin to tell their tales of salvation through song.

With:
Performers: Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams.

The reigning kings and queen of urban gospel had more than enough firepower and passion to keep the four-hour Hopeville show moving at a smooth, never preachy, pace. The Broadway-like “Love of My Life” opened the stage setting of a fictitious intersection of Hopeville Avenue and Main Street in the inner city of Hopeville and provided a pulpit for Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin and Kirk Franklin to tell their tales of salvation through song. All were backed by a scorching band and an 11-member backup vocal cast (eight women, three men).

Adams, blessed with one of the sweetest voices on the planet, played a too-short set that included “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” “Gotta Believe” and her acclaimed “Open My Heart.” That song alone should have secured her a place of greatness in pop music, but with her determination to remain true to her gospel roots, Adams seems content in the smaller urban gospel arena.

McClurkin, the 21st century Bebe Winans, right down to his exquisite tonality, received a tumultuous ovation just by appearing in a crisp, cream-colored suit. His commanding baritone smoothed its way through “Stand,” “Just for Me” and “I Got My Mind Made Up.” McClurkin’s versatility surprised the audience as he sang fluid translations in Japanese, Dutch, Zulu and Spanish to “Hope Don’t Hit You.” Adams rejoined McClurkin on the David Foster-written “The Prayer,” with McClurkin deferring the lion’s share of the song to Adams.

Headliner Kirk Franklin is not a vocalist. He is a preacher and an accomplished cheerleader-conductor-mime who guides the chorus and band through such tunes as “Brighter Day” and “Riverside.” He proselytized on finding the Lord and eventually asked his wife, Tammy, to come onstage, where he thanked her for seven years of marriage. As Franklin waited for the right words to “sing,” crooner Brian McKnight’s “Still in Love” came on as Franklin mouthed the words. McKnight then stepped onstage to reveal himself as the audience let out a warm laugh for Franklin’s valiant attempt at singing.

The second half focused on testifying, closing with a rousing “Hosanna,” allowing a final dramatic ending for the power of great gospel music to radiate. McClurkin, Adams and Franklin are the very best proponents to make underappreciated gospel music more palatable to the masses.

Hopeville Tour

Universal Amphitheater; 6,200 seats; $54.50 top

Production: Presented by House of Blues Concerts. Reviewed Jan. 18, 2003.

Cast: Performers: Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams.

More Music

  • Big Deal Music Names Jamie Cerreta,

    Big Deal Music Names Jamie Cerreta and Casey Robison Co-Presidents

    Big Deal Music Group today announced a series of promotions among its senior staff, naming Jamie Cerreta and Casey Robison (pictured above, right and left) co-presidents. The announcement comes from Kenny MacPherson, who is assuming the new role of Chief Executive Officer. All three executives will continue operating out of the company’s Los Angeles headquarters. [...]

  • Camila Cabello

    Camila Cabello Reveals Podcast Obsessions, Teases New Album at Cannes Lions

    Camila Cabello was the featured speaker at a Tuesday afternoon panel at Cannes Lions, the annual gathering of marketing, design and entertainment professionals in the south of France. Joined by Spotify chief content officer Dawn Ostroff, the talk, moderated by Variety editor Shirley Halperin, was centered around the theme of the golden age of sound [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Attorney for Universal Music Artists Impacted by 2008 Fire Requests Inventory

    Following on its statements last week that it will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of several Universal Music recording artists impacted by a 2008 fire that destroyed a huge number of master recordings, a Los Angeles law firm has requested a “complete inventory” from the company. Addressed to UMG CEO and chairman Lucian Grainge, [...]

  • Charles Caldas To Step Down as

    Charles Caldas To Step Down as Merlin CEO

    Charles Caldas, the only CEO that the independent-label collective Merlin has ever known, announced today that he will step down from his post at the end of 2019, after more than 12 years at the helm of the global rights organization. He will continue his current duties until then and work with the Merlin board to [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • Editorial Use OnlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Ed Sheeran Adds Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Khalid, Eminem, H.E.R. to 'Collaborations' List

    With less than a month to go, Ed Sheeran has uncensored his list of duet partners on the “No.6 Collaborations Project” album that’s due out July 12 and, not surprisingly, Justin Bieber is far from the only superstar in the bunch. It’s heavy on urban music giants, with Travis Scott, Khalid, Eminem, Cardi B, Chance [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content