The Hopeville II Tour - Recap
October 22, 2004 in Hampton, Virginia

How do you follow-up the most successful tour in Gospel Music history? You create a sequel.

So, The Hopeville 2 Tour was born. Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin and Yolanda Adams are back to spread the love and joy of Hopeville around the nation. The tour was in its first week as it stopped through the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia for a night of hope on October 22, 2004.

The Hopeville stage setup is much like it was on the original tour, with some minor updates. But there's the same feel of the town that we were introduced to a couple of years ago. The three mega artists continued to build on their camaraderie, and masterfully blended comedy with practicality. The culmination is a powerful ministry that left the audience full of hope and encouragement to last through the next trial.

The Previous Hopeville Tour
CD The original Hopeville Tour was billed as the most successful Gospel music tour of all time, and went from city to city beginning in 2002, into 2003. Check out recap of that event by clicking on the image above.

The musical set began with Yolanda Adams stepping out strong with the praise favorite “You Are Good” (made popular by Israel and New Breed), and featuring an all-star band that included Bobby Sparks and Shawn Nelson on keys, along with the incomparable Doc Powell on lead guitar.

Adams’ set featured a slew of new music from her upcoming release, which is slated to drop in the first quarter of 2005. One of these songs, titled “Tonight”, was written by Kirk Franklin and is destined to be a major hit. The mid-tempo jam has Adams talking to God and sharing that tonight, she will try to get it right. Franklin joined her on the song.

Another gem from her upcoming project was a slow ballad titled “This Too Shall Pass”. Featuring Shawn Martin on keys, this beautiful song offers hope that the current trials of life will soon pass. Adams kicked into the high-energy hip-hop groove, "Alright” that featured her own sister kicking some lyrical heat with a rap cameo. Adams' set also spotlighted a solo from a violinist simply named Karen, who was phenomenal. Karen would make her presence known throughout the show in a powerful way.

Franklin joined the stage shortly thereafter in a character that resembles “Jerome” from the popular sitcom “Martin”. Using broken English and unique colloquialisms, Franklin convincingly assumed the part, showing that he’s an all-round gifted entertainer.

Franklin offered hope that things will get better, encouraged families, and admonished the audience to exercise their right to vote. Franklin then introduced Pastor Donnie McClurkin, who lit up the stage with “That’s What I Believe”. As McClurkin moved to “Just For Me”, he felt the Spirit leading him in a different direction. He then went into “Tis So Sweet” and segued into “I Will Trust”. He ministered to the audience under the direction of the Holy Spirit and blessed the thousands in attendance with an admonition to trust God no matter what.

McClurkin then led into the new single “I Call You Faithful”, from his forthcoming album “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs”. He ended his set with the popular “I’m Walking” and an extremely funky rendition of “Hail Jesus”. During this rendition, he led the people in a dance and covered the Sly & The Family Stone classic “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)”.

With absolutely no intermission, the stage was set for Kirk Franklin to again bless the audience. Prior to his arrival, the set appeared to undergo a weather change as a well-staged thunderstorm that seemingly took over Hopeville. Then, a light began to shine with Franklin and company coming out with trench coats. They dropped the trench coats and told the audience that it would be a “Brighter Day”.

From there, the party jumped into high gear as Franklin masterfully blessed the crowd as only he can. He then transitioned into the laidback but intense “Lookin’ Out For Me”. During this song, Donnie McClurkin joined the background singers and remained with them until the end of the evening. Franklin was transparent with the audience and shared his testimony concerning his sister, and the struggles that he has had in dealing with that situation. In doing so, he encouraged many to hold on to God and trust Him no matter what they face. He then led his crew into a skillful medley that included hits such as “Something About the Name Jesus”, “The Storm is Over”, “Hold Me Now”, “My Life, My Love, My All”, and “Why We Sing”.

Franklin then sang “Our God is An Awesome God”, which was a rare treat. That morphed into “He Reigns” which included throwbacks to “Stomp” along with an updated version of the Terror Squad hit “Lean Back”.

Speaking of throwbacks, the evening concluded with the trio of Franklin, McClurkin, and Adams converging on stage to simply freestyle with several of their classic hits, including “Open My Heart”, “The Battle is Not Yours”, “We Fall Down”, and “Stand”.

Franklin then gave an altar call, offering Christ to all unbelievers. McClurkin then asked Adams to pray a prayer for believers who are going through a period of brokenness. Adams prayed an anointed prayer and declared that the best was yet to come.

The evening ended with “Hosanna” ...a fitting end to a night of hope, worship, and encouragement. Indeed, the sequel to the Hopeville saga is a resounding success.

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recap by Gerard Bonner

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