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  Live (DVD)
Artist: Steven Curtis Chapman
Label: Sparrow
108 min.

Steven Curtis Chapman is without question one of the most successful artists in CCM history.  His middle of the road, country/rock style appeals to various markets, cementing his status as perhaps the biggest selling male artist in Christian music.

His latest DVD, simply titled Live, is part concert, part conversation, and part sermon illustration.  Do not look for a lot of DVD
bonuses here ­ the videos for “Through the Gates of Splendor” and “When Love Takes You In” are largely contained within the concert itself.  The latter is particularly effective, woven with Chapman’s story of adopting their daughter from China.  [author’s side note: some of the video here is particularly touching to me, as the Chapmans’ daughter is from the same orphanage as my daughter].  

The songs here hold up well, concentrating primarily on the second half of Chapman’s illustrious career.  If you’re looking for a
greatest hits package, this isn’t it.  “Live Out Loud” is predominant, serving as both the intro and playing over the credits, and performed in its entirety during the concert.  “The Great Adventure” is a highlight, done in a slightly different mode than the original ­ the guitar here is more in a U2 vein.  

Not to be missed is the story is the story and appearance of Steve Saint and Mikaye, a native of Ecuador.  I won’t spoil the ending here, but it is amazing that these two people not only appear on the same stage, but have an undying love for each other.

Other notable tracks include “Speechless,” “Dive,” and “All About Love.”  Chapman is still at the top of his game, and manages to defy criticism in that there is nothing to dislike about him ­ even if he isn’t your cup of tea, his talents as a singer and songwriter cannot be denied, and his manner of speaking and living out his ideas seem to be done without guile.

Brian A. Smith
6 June 2004



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