Review: CeCe Winans at Capital Christian Center in Sacramento
CeCe filled my cup!
There are no two ways about this: either you were there, or you weren’t.
If you were one of the thousands of people there, you know how I’m feeling. The morning after CeCe Winans self-professed “holy ghost party” at Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, I knew beyond all shadow of a doubt that if He said it, I believe it, and it is DONE!
If you weren’t there, I just don’t know what to tell you.
Typically, it’s not a good thing when a writer can’t summon words, but Winans rendered me speechless after Wednesday night’s two hour plus performance. I’ve been blessed to see her a few times in concert, starting in 1996, and she’s always given a great show. But a few nights ago in Sac Town, one of my favorite Detroit exports took it to a whole new level.
Winans starting things off on video with her a cappella rendition of “Fill My Cup” from her 1999 masterpiece, “Alabaster Box.” Maybe that’s why I had to buy the mug from her tricked out merch table in the lobby after the show. I HAD TO BUY THE CUP, Y’ALL!
Last night, Winans masterfully covered songs from years ago, like the title track from that aforementioned album, the one from her Grammy-winning, first solo album, 1995’s “Alone In His Presence,” “Waging War” from 2008, and “Never Have To Be Alone” from her 2017 Grammy-winning “Let Them Fall In Love” project.
On that latter song, she took me down with the line “Truth is, He never left.” I’m the guy who likes to question the footprints in the sand, only to learn, over and over again, that He was carrying me.
But the legend also brought her latest project, the live “Believe For It” album, to life, vibrantly singing “Fire,” “Never Lost,” “Shepherd,” “I Have A Savior,” the title track and other favorites as if her life — or ours — depended on it.
And, maybe, it does.
In case you’re wondering, Winans briefly shared a few loving memories of having started her professional career singing with one of her brothers. But if you wanted to hear BeBe & CeCe, you needed to pop in one of your old cassette tapes or CDs during your drive home. She even joked from the stage “I’m not ‘8-track’ old. I’m not old enough to have put out any 8-tracks, but I listened to them!” Last night was all about CeCe. And the crowd loved it.
Speaking of warm sentiments, Winans thanked the audience for following her and supporting her career for so many years. “I don’t take it lightly,” she said, adding “You’ve made it all possible, you trusted our ministry, and I thank you.” Sometimes, words spoken from the stage come across as well-intentioned platitudes, but Winans’ words came across as sincere as every word she sang.
Another of the evening’s highlights was Winans’ performance of “Goodness Of God” from the current album. I’ve learned over the years not to doubt the chanteuse’s ability to improve upon her recorded songs, but she nailed “Goodness Of God,” featuring the lyric:
‘Cause all my life, You have been faithful
And all my life, You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
In CeCe’s hands, “Goodness Of God” comes off like a personal testimony. The woman’s been recording for over 40 years, having begun her ministry with the PTL Singers when she was just 17 years old. “Goodness Of God” is my testimony, as well, but the song takes on new resonance when you hear it being sung by thousands of people, in unison.
Winans is wrapping up the first leg of her “Believe For It” tour this week, then taking a well-deserved break for the holidays before hitting the road for the tour’s second leg next spring. When I spoke with her by phone last month, as she was just launching the tour, she told me she was taking things slowly during her return to the road after more than a decade, insisting that she needed to “get stronger,” and that she was “…getting back in shape, vocally… .”
If last night was Winans getting BACK into shape, I want some of whatever beverage she was periodically sipping on stage last night. The 58 year old legend looks and sounds amazing.
Would someone please pour some of her mystery beverage into my new CeCe Winans mug? Did I mention I’d bought one?
Fill my cup!
Go to cecewinans.com for details on the artist’s projects, including her upcoming book, Believe For It: Passing On Faith to the Next Generation, her spring 2023 Generations Live conference, and her upcoming tour dates.
Freelance content creator Michael P Coleman used to talk to strangers and get punished. Today, he does the same thing and gets published. Connect with him at michaelpcoleman.com.