There’s something about gospel music that fills your soul and makes your heart shout. Every time I sing praise music — gospel especially— the Holy Spirit reaches deep within me with an explosion of joy. Joy of life… joy of a power that is much more greater than I am…
A few weeks ago I was invited to attend the House of Blues Gospel Brunch in Downtown San Diego. I’ve heard of this show many years ago and had the desire to attend. But somehow in my busy-ness I had put it in the back of my mind. So when I received the invite to have brunch at HOB with some blogging friends, I had to jump at the opportunity — and I’m glad I did!
The morning started off with a “soul food” brunch — we’re talkin’ chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, creole chicken jambalaya… and then there’s your regular brunch fare such as scrambled eggs, maple bacon (YUM), an omelette station, assorted danishes and more!
The food was delicious and I did my best to take small portions of everything so I can have a taste. I tried to be healthy, but couldn’t resist chicken & waffles. I even went back for seconds.
Suddenly, the room dimmed and a video started to play. I thought it was odd – we’re here to see a show, not a video! But before I knew it, the curtain parted to reveal a gospel choir.
I was immediately taken back to my childhood, sitting at 11am Sunday Mass at my church. Yes, Mass (Catholic here). No, it wasn’t chanting or singing Latin hymns. It was straight-up GOSPEL! You see, I grew up in the ‘hood (I say that lovingly). We were part of a Catholic parish that had a 7:30am Mass with organ music, a 9:30am Mass with an assigned choir for the week (children/youth which I belonged to or a Samoan choir which I accompanied on the piano on occasion), then the 11:00am Mass with a gospel choir, and a 5:30pm Mass with a folk/praise choir. It was a diverse community and I was always drawn to the gospel music— I’ve never heard the “Our Father” sung with so much soul. Not to mention hearing the random “Amens!” proclaimed throughout Mass. It always was a long Mass because of all the singing.
Forward to my high school (in the ‘hood). My sister was part of the school Gospel choir and would bring home some music to work on. Whenever she needed some practice I would play the piano or help sing the harmonies with her. I was slightly envious – she got to sing, but I elected towards being a band geek (flute, in case you’re wondering).
Sitting at the gospel brunch pulled these memories out of me and made me shout, “Hallelujah!” The choir was talented and sang with such conviction. You couldn’t help but feel their vibe as they belted out the many tunes. Gospel music is great — even if you don’t know the words in the beginning of the song, you’ll sure know them by the end of the song… and you’ll find yourself singing along. I had such a blast waving my red napkin and singing aloud.
There was also audience participation during the show. My friends kept egging me on to go on stage but I hid, not to be noticed. Although I love to sing, I’m not good at improvising or singing riffs — these people were GOOD. But when “Why We Sing” came on, oh boy… I sang my heart out (from the comfort of my seat).
I had such a great time and so did my friends. I would highly recommend this brunch/show to anyone! You will leave with your stomach and soul filled… you just might keep singing the rest of the day.
The show is $39.50 for adults and $17.50 for kids 6-12 (includes tax and gratuity). You can purchase tickets through the HOB box office or through ticketmaster.
For more information on upcoming shows and their menu, visit their website:
Disclosure: I was given complimentary admission to the Gospel Brunch. A review was not required but I thought you all might enjoy filling your soul in a fun and tasty way on a Sunday. All opinions are my own.