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"The Last Performance"
Fingerprint Records 2001
The Last Performance - cover

This is kind of a difficult review for me to write for various reasons. Being 51 years old, I have been listening to rock n roll since the earliest days of its existence and having become a Christian back in 1972, I can say the same for Christian rock. As a Christian, there are three men who have shaped what I listen to and consider to be good Christian music. Those three men are Jeff Johnson, Terry Taylor and Mark Heard. The first time that I heard Victims of the Age it totally redefined for me what Christian music could and should be. So it was with great anticipation that I attended my first Cornerstone back in '92 because Mark was going to be playing on the fourth of July. The dilemma was that Mark was playing at the same time as Adam Again and I had become phone buddies with Riki Michele and had promised to go hear her band. So I did what any first timer would do, I divided my time running back and forth between the two shows.

I remember standing at the side of the stage watching Mark play tunes from his last three records and realizing why this man had such an impact on my musical tastes, he was without a doubt a genius lyrically and a great player on top of that. Seeing him, Pierce and Pam hold the audience in the palm of  their hands was a sight that I will never forget. Now listening to the disc of that show just reminds me of why I loved his music so much, it is honest, passionate and it just cooks. Bill Mallonee had said after listening to and seeing the homemade video of the night that he could not tell when the actual heart attack occurred. He is right, I have listened to this disc at least three times today and it is a flawless performance by an artist who is throwing his whole soul into what he was doing. From the playing to the banter between Mark and the audience this was a night of pure magic which I will never forget and thanks to Fingerprint Records can enjoy over and over again.

If you are too young to remember Mark and are wondering what all the hubbub is about, then you owe it to yourself to purchase this disc. Part of the proceeds go to help out Mark's widow and daughter. I can honestly say that in my opinion, Mark Heard was the most brilliant songwriter that this industry has ever seen. If you think that is just an over zealous fan being well over zealous, try listening to any of Mark's albums and then something by Carman back to back. Enough said!!!

Chris MacIntosh ( The Phantom Tollbooth, 1/31/01 )

The Last Performance  ~  Lyrics / In Concert / DISCOGRAPHY