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



This is kind of a difficultreview for me to write for various reasons. Being 51 years old, I havebeen listening to rock n roll since the earliest days of its existenceand having become a Christian back in 1972, I can say the same for Christianrock. As a Christian, there are three men who have shaped what I listento 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 ofthe Age it totally redefined for me what Christian music could andshould be. So it was with great anticipation that I attended my first Cornerstoneback 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 andI had become phone buddies with Riki Michele and had promised to go hearher band. So I did what any first timer would do, I divided my time runningback and forth between the two shows.

I remember standing at the side of the stage watching Mark play tunes from his last three recordsand realizing why this man had such an impact on my musical tastes, hewas 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  theirhands was a sight that I will never forget. Now listening to the disc ofthat 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 toand seeing the homemade video of the night that he could not tell whenthe actual heart attack occurred. He is right, I have listened to thisdisc at least three times today and it is a flawless performance by anartist who is throwing his whole soul into what he was doing. From theplaying to the banter between Mark and the audience this was a night ofpure magic which I will never forget and thanks to Fingerprint Recordscan enjoy over and over again.

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

Chris MacIntosh ( The Phantom Tollbooth, 1/31/01 )
www.tollbooth.org

The Last Performance  ~  Lyrics / In Concert / DISCOGRAPHY