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The King’s Men Tour: Gospel Music Concert Review

by: ellis j. still

The King’s Men Tour has got to be the best concert that I have attended in my entire life.

Ellis & Tina Still, with The King’s Men
(l-r) Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp & Israel Houghton
(click on photo to enlarge)

On Saturday, October 6th, 2012, my wife Tina and I ventured from New Jersey to Washington DC for a round of golf (me), a tour of The White House, and a concert, The King’s Men Tour. If you have not heard of the tour, it features gospel music heavyweights Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, and Kirk Franklin, spur of the moment add-ons Tye Tribbett and Byron Cage and amazing background vocalist including recording artist Isaac Caree and Sunday Best season 4 winner Amber Bullock.

I have had the opportunity to see all of the above minister at my church home with the exception of Kirk Franklin & Byron Cage, so I knew to expect a great show.

Not only was it a great show, but The King’s Men completely exceeded my expectations. Usually music artists require that they use their own personnel (musicians, background vocals, ect.) for their performance. It is rare, if ever, that they make the extra effort to create the logistics to work together with other artists.

However, for The King’s Men Tour, all of the artists used the same band and personnel, which made the entire evening seamless. There were no intermissions needed between artists’ performances, which tend to make concerts that feature multiple artists really long. The King’s Men artists and their music were interwoven in a way that seemed natural, and the band was on point when artists broke out in a spontaneous song.

The King’s Men (click on photo to enlarge)

Who says Christians are dry and do not know how to have fun. It was an enjoyable evening filled with impressive music, flawless vocals, lots of laughter, and deep seeded worship. All of the artists demonstrated all of these components, but in their own way. It is impossible to describe things in great detail, so here are a few snippets:

Byron Cage, a last minute addition, opened the evening with a men’s choir from the Washington DC area, who brought the house down with a creative mixture of new school worship, and old school gospel.

Israel Houghton (click photo to enlarge)

Israel Houghton is my all time favorite artist. In fact, when we were back stage to visit with the artists,  Tina jokingly but seriously told on me by telling Israel that I listen to his Christmas CD all year round.

On stage, Israel told his personal life story, which I had never heard before. Israel is known for his worship, playing the guitar, and for his special affinity towards live bands. What I did not know is that Israel’s  talent goes way beyond the guitar (you’ll have to go to the concert to know what I’m talking about), which was a pleasant surprise to all of the thousands of people present.

Marvin Sapp (click on photo to enlarge)

Marvin Sapp really surprised me by his vocal range. Yes – Marvin is anointed with exceptional vocals on any day, but on this evening, something got hold of him. He could barely contain himself, and the entire place was in tears.

Donnie McClurkin brought us to our knees with spontaneous worship that touched the core of our very being. Donnie, like all of the other King’s Men, in their own way, took us to church, and reminded us that we are the church every day – not just on Sunday.

Donnie McClurkin (click on photo to enlarge)

Tye Tribbett, like Kirk Franklin, is a ball of energy. Even though he was a last minute addition, he and his music fit in nicely.

Kirk Franklin was, well, Kirk Franklin. Kirk is Tina’s all time favorite gospel artist to see live in concert. She had been pleading with me over the years that in order to fully understand why, I had to go to a Kirk Franklin concert myself. Now, I totally understand.

The most important highlight if the night was the open and clear recognition of Jesus Christ. For this evening, the Verizon Center was no longer the Verizon Center. The Verizon Center was Church. Kirk said it best – saying that you believe in God is not enough. ‘God’ can mean anything. Jesus is our everything. Our Ruler. Our Redeemer. Our Provider. Our Shelter. Our Healer. Our Deliverer. Our Father. Our Protector. Our Savior. This is how Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribbett, and the rest of The King’s Men honored our Lord and Savior through song.

Kirk Franklin (click on photo to enlarge)

In conclusion, there are no words to express how this concert has touched my life, and the lives of the other thousands of people at the Verizon Center. Some people think that being a Christian is dry and no fun, and instead turn to things/people that provide temporary hope. If this is you, I encourage you to get tickets to the concert (tix are cheap for the most part). Tour cities and dates are listed on Kirk Franklin’s website.

In order to live, first you have to die.

To view more pictures via Facebook, Click here.

Question: Have you given your heart to Jesus? If not, email me at, and I will show you how.

© 2012, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the event brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I do, however, have a marketing connection to the musical artists’ brand, topic or product herein. Through the use of links contained herein, my bookstore may provides access to items created by the attached artists for purchase. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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