Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

PFR Final Concert

  • 1999 24 Feb
PFR Final Concert
PHOENIZ, AZ (February 19, 1999) - {{PFR}} reunited for a one time concert to benefit Phoenix area ministries.

Concerts come and concerts go each day. The band loads in, they rehearse, they play, they sign CDs, they load out, they do it again the next day in another city. As you look at the entire time line of the Christian music industry, there are very few milestones but the PFR concert was a night to remember.

Patrick commented that more friends actually flew in from other areas around the nation to attend the concert than attended locally.

For a band which was together for about 7-1/2 years, had 4 albums, been through 3 name changes, and 2 weddings, God allowed them to touch many lives.

Joel, and Mark met at a camp in Minnesota the summer of 1987 and in the summer of 1988 when they decided that they should play together more often. Mark was a counselor and Joel was leading the music. Both played some music together, but a drummer and a guitarist didn't make a band. It was the fall of 1988, when Patrick started going to the youth group where Joel was an interim pastor. It wasn't long before the band "Inside Out" began.

"Inside Out" began playing camps and youth groups.

One night they played for Christian music artist Steve Camp who told friends of friends of friends which resulted in playing for Jimmie Lee Sloas and Bobby Blazier, who produced their first album. In October, the band, Sparrow Records, and Brown Banister started talking about record deals. According to Patrick, the bass player "...we went down to Nashville, signed on February 19, 1990 and started recording on February 20, 1990..." From that moment on there were known as Pray for Rain.

In June of 1992, Pray For Rain began a national promo tour.

On September 27, 1992, Pray For Rain self-titled debut album was released nationwide followed by a Fall tour. In October, Patrick's dog Goldie had her last day and "a song was born".

In November of 1992, ==Pray For Rain== was nominated for a Grammy Award.

April 1993 Pray For Rain performed live on the Dove Awards Show in Nashville and walked away with a Dove for Rock Album of the Year.

During the summer of 1993 another band known as Pray For Rain threatened to sue over use of the name and PFR settled in on their last name change. Also that summer ==Goldie's Last Day== began to be recorded in Nashville.

On December 20, 1993 ==Goldie's Last Day== was released and debuted at number two on the album sales chart. Patrick met Helen Varga at the PFR show on 9/93 at Knott's Berry Farm in CA.

December 19, 1994 album number three, ==Great Lengths==, was released nationwide and quickly advanced to number one.

The next year and a one half produced videos, more hits, a tour in Europe, more dating, a tour with Jars of Clay, and Mark married Leigh Bingham of Sixpence None The Richer and began building a home in Nashville.

On July 11, 1996 PFR released the album ==Them== and announced it would be their last which was followed by the "Now You See Them, Now You Don't" farewell tour during the Fall.

October 7, 1997 ==The Late, Great PFR== was released with no tour. It was officially over.

Patrick commented, "The relationships that I gained have been invaluable...even after PFR disbanded. Ones established in early days of PFR that I have called on have opened so many doors... even for Eager. Just the friendships from the whole experience -- promoters, sales people -- the whole family of people who I would count as friends.... and brethren in Christ. I don't even think about the 'success.' I think about the relationships on the road - Brent Bourgeois, {{Jars of Clay}}, Mark Joel... that's the most important thing while we walk on this earth. And that I'm certainly thankful to God for it".

About the ending of PFR Joel said, "People had a hard time understanding why we would break up in the middle of such a good thing. But the final tour was a great chance to go say thank you to the people who encouraged us and allowed us to come to their communities. People prayed for us in every city...people told us their stories and how our story collided with theirs...and in it they were able to see God through it all. Those moments continued to give us purpose to what we did".

"We all sacrificed some personal identity for the sake of the group, which was good for the group, but not always for the individual. Now that we're not in the group, we have an opportunity to be even more who we are. I think all three of us have good things to offer individually...our commonality was that we really enjoyed what we did together. Knowing that it wasn't always about the music, but that it was about being a part of something greater...being a part of the work God is doing in people's lives".

Joel Hanson, Patrick Andrew, and Mark Nash performed one last time as PFR and again touched lives.

As concerts go this night was one of the best. As always, there were a few minor technical problems, and even a few missed or forgotten lyrics, but from the moment Joel, Patrick, and Mark walked on stage the concert was dynamic. The concert featured all the great hits and even a new {{PFR}} song that will most likely never be heard again. There were even a few brief memories shared.

As expected, they closed the night with a sentimental "Goldie's Last Days". As the music and lights faded to black, so did the close of the last ever PFR concert. The concert was a night in Christian music to remember.

c.1999 International Youth Ministries / Rock411. Used with permission.