Petra at 50: Farewell (2005)


In celebration of Petra turning fifty years old in 2022, here at I am going album by album through their discography and reflecting on the role their music has played in my life. In this post my focus is Petra’s second live album, twenty-third overall, and final album under the Petra banner, 2005’s Farewell.

The Backstory

The decline of Petra in the late 1990s and 2000 had given way to a revival (pun intended) of sorts in the early part of a new decade. A new three album deal with Peter Furler backed Inpop Records had produced Petra’s third praise album, Revival, and then, finally, a return to rock with Jekyll & Hyde, the hardest of all Petra albums, which was very well received by fans. The band finally seemed to stop trying to gear their sound toward whatever was now the prevailing sound of the times, and instead, Bob Hartman just wrote Bob Hartman songs and the band went back to just bringing it. Still, they were getting older, and with one more album on their Inpop deal it was natural for Petra to begin thinking about what the future held, and how long that future would be.

Eventually, the decision was made that Petra, after 33 years, would bid “farewell.” It was determined the last album would be a live album, a concert to sum up over three decades of legendary Christian rock. It all took place on October 4, 2005, in Franklin, TN, a suburb of Nashville, and would be made available on CD and DVD.

Album Overview

Farewell consists of fourteen tracks, including two medleys (one rock, one acoustic) and a Bob Hartman solo. Whenever a project like this is being undertaken there are going to inevitably be cuts for time constraints, and no one is going to be 100% satisfied with the track listing. Everyone has their personal favorites and there has to be omissions. That said, this is a fine representation of the history of the band, necessarily including songs from more recent albums (mostly up front) but also getting in plenty of the old stuff.

Petra produced this album themselves, with former member Jim Cooper coming alongside as Project Coordinator.  

My Origin Story

Like most Pet-heads when I heard about this album I was determined to get it immediately, and I did. And I enjoyed it, but I have to admit I didn’t end up listening to it a lot early on. The release of the album came at a pretty busy time in my life, with me gearing up to move with my wife and son from Wilmington, NC, to Louisville, KY. And because I’ve always been more partial to original studio albums than live albums I kind of set it aside and it didn’t get played too often.

But about three years ago I got a job that keeps me in my car quite a bit, so my iPod began to get a lot of use, and going through Petra’s discography I played this and began to love and appreciate it in a way I never had before. 

Album Information

  • Released: 2005
  • Album Length: 63:25
  • Label: Inpop
  • Producers: Petra
  • Executive Producers: Wes Campbell, Peter Furler, Rob Poznanzki
  • The Band: John Schlitt (vocals); Bob Hartman (guitars); Greg Bailey (bass, cello); Paul Simmons (drums, percussion)
  • Guest Musicians: Greg X. Volz (vocals); John Lawry (keyboards)
  • Production
    • Petra (producers)
    • Wes Campbell, Peter Furler, Rob Poznanzki (executive producers)
    • Jim Cooper (project coordinator for Lake Dog Music Group LLC)


As with Captured in Time and Space, covering each track is different than most other albums because I’ve written about each of these songs already. Thus, I’ll just make brief comments if anything about most of these.

1. “All About Who You Know” (3:22) – A surprising way to open the album, to be honest. I would have thought they’d go with “Jekyll & Hyde” if they wanted something from their most recent album to begin the concert. Still, a fine way to start the album.

2. “Dance” (4:32) – One of my very favorite songs, recorded live for the first time. I like what Paul Simmons does on the drums here, particularly in the second verse.

3. “Amazing Grace” (4:29) – I wish they had put this version of the song on the Revival album, because it really rocks. Hartman is bringing it on the guitar and Simmons is doing some things on the drums you are more likely to hear in concert than in a studio, but it really works to make this version superior to that of four years prior.

4. “Test of Time” (3:22) – This one feels about 1.2x the speed of the original, and live it sounds a bit more raw than the studio version. Schlitt sounds a little breath during the fast choruses, which is more than understandable in a concert setting.

5. “Creed” (3:14) – Hartman replaces the keyboard intro with a guitar here and it works well. As I listen to this one I realize how much I would have loved a live album toward the end of that run with Schlitt/Hartman/Lawry/Cates/Weaver. This is one of my very favorite songs so all the better. Hartman really gets after it with the guitar here and I love it.

6. “Right Place” (3:57) – Oh here we go! This is a great live version of this song, and I actually prefer it to the original. So much energy going on here. Hartman is once again going off on the guitar, but in this performance Greg Bailey is the standout with the bass as he gets moment to shine, even getting a little of the familiar riff from Rush’s “YYZ” in there, which is awesome. 

7. “Rock Medley” [Sight Unseen – It Is Finished – Think Twice – I Am On The Rock – Midnight Oil – Mine Field – This Means War! – It Is Finished (Reprise)] (10:05) – What a fun medley! Great to hear them bust out “Sight Unseen,” and there is representation from several different albums here. I always thought “It Is Finished” felt like more of a John Schlitt song, even though Volz was the lead singer on the Beat the System album. I’ve heard Schlitt do it live before, so I’m glad it was included in some form here. The progression from song to song is fantastic, and reprising “It Is Finished” is the natural way to go.

8. “Jekyll & Hyde” (3:48) – I can’t put it over the original, but a great live rendition of the last album’s title track. One of the truly great Petra songs.

9. “Acoustic Set [Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows – Road to Zion – More Power to Ya – For Annie – No Doubt – The Coloring Song – Love] (10:04) – I’m so happy Greg X. Volz joined Petra for this concert, as it would have felt incomplete without him or some of these songs to which his voice is so attached. I’m equally happy that it wasn’t just Volz here. Schlitt comes in for “No Doubt” and “Love,” but also to accompany Volz on “The Coloring Song,” which is fantastic.

10. “Grave Robber” (4:20) – John Lawry came out for “Grave Robber,” and if there was one song from the Volz era to do in its totality, this was the right one. Volz stays on to sing the lead. Excellent.

11. “Keyboard Solo” (1:33) – Jesus loves you. If you know, you know.

12. “Beyond Belief” (4:30) – Hartman does a guitar intro in place of the keyboards from the original, and it’s great. Schlitt sounds like taking a couple of songs off helped, as he’s in fine form on this one. This is a very good live version of one of their most beloved songs.

13. “Guitar Solo” (1:24) – Bob Hartman. 🙂

14. “He Came, He Saw, He Conquered” (4:36) – If I hadn’t seen the track listing or had been there live, by this point in the concert I would’ve begun worrying a little bit that song was going to be left off. As I wrote about, cuts happen in these types of things. But if you’ve been paying attention to the song rankings throughout this blog endeavor, you know how I feel about this song. Well, no worries needed. Petra’s overall best song, in my opinion, ends its Farewell album and concert. The first time I heard this song was live, as the second song (after “All Fired Up”) during a 1989 concert. Great to have it recorded live here.

Ranking the Albums

  1. Unseen Power
  2. This Means War! 
  3. On Fire!
  4. Beyond Belief
  5. More Power To Ya
  6. Jekyll & Hyde 
  7. Farewell – I’m so happy they decided to wrap of their thirty-three years (at that point) with this live album. The John Schlitt era needed this treatment, and it’s a great representation of his era, with some Volz era classics to boot. Live albums have to escalate over a high bar to be ranked above studio albums, to me at least. This one rises to the occasion to find itself in this spot over some truly great albums.
  8. No Doubt 
  9. Never Say Die 
  10. Come and Join Us
  11. Not Of This World
  12. Back to the Street
  13. Captured In Time And Space
  14. Wake-Up Call 
  15. Beat The System
  16. Revival
  17. Petra
  18. Washes Whiter Than
  19. Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus
  20. Petra Praise: The Rock Cries Out
  21. God Fixation 
  22. Double Take

The #Petra50

To get into this list from a live album the song has to be one of three things: 1) not on a previous album, 2) be superior to the original song already in this list, or  3) so superior to its original recording that it vaults into this list. So while this album is awesome, that’s a high bar, and there is only one song from the album I feel I can include here.

  1. “He Came, He Saw, He Conquered” – from This Means War! (1)
  2. “Enter In” – from No Doubt  (2)
  3. “Creed” – from Beyond Belief (3) 
  4. “More Power To Ya” – from More Power To Ya (4)
  5. “Jekyll & Hyde” – from Jekyll & Hyde (5)
  6. “Dance” – from Unseen Power (6)
  7. “Adonai” – from Beat The System (7)
  8. “Whole World” – from Back to the Street (8)
  9. “Grave Robber” – from Not Of This World (9)
  10. “Hit You Where You Live” – from On Fire! (10)
  11. “Chameleon” from Never Say Die (11)
  12. “Love” – from Beyond Belief (12)
  13. “Road to Zion” – from More Power To Ya (13)
  14. “Godpleaser” – from Captured In Time And Space (14)
  15. “Not Of This World” – from Not Of This World (15)
  16. “This Means War” – from This Means War! (16)
  17. “Come and Join Us” – from Come and Join Us (17)
  18. “All Fired Up” – from On Fire! (18)
  19. “The Praise Medley [“Let Everything That Hath Breath” / “Without You We Could Do Nothing” / “Praise Ye The Lord” / “Hallelujah Chorus”] – from Captured In Time And Space (19)
  20. “Sight Unseen” – from Unseen Power (20)
  21. “Perfect World” – from Jekyll & Hyde (21)
  22. “Angel of Light” – from Never Say Die (22)
  23. “Praying Man” – from Wake-Up Call (23)
  24. “No Doubt” – from No Doubt (24)
  25. “Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows” – from More Power To Ya (25)
  26. “Hollow Eyes” – from Beat The System (26)
  27. “Beyond Belief” – from Beyond Belief (27)
  28. “Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened” – from This Means War! (28)
  29. “Destiny” – from Unseen Power (29)
  30. “Stand in the Gap” – from On Fire! (30) 
  31. “Hey World” – from Unseen Power (31)
  32. “Heart of a Hero” – from No Doubt (32)
  33. “Fool’s Gold” – from Back to the Street (33)
  34. “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” – from Come and Join Us (34)
  35. “It Is Finished” – from Beat The System (35)
  36. “Sacred Trust” – from Jekyll & Hyde (36)
  37. “Woman Don’t You Know” – from Come and Join Us (37) 
  38. “Where Can I Go” – from Come and Join Us (38)
  39. “Not By Sight” – from Not Of This World (39)
  40. “Clean” – from Captured In Time And Space (40)
  41. “King’s Ransom” – from Back to the Street (41)
  42. “First Love” – from On Fire! (42) 
  43. “You Are My Rock” – from This Means War! (43)
  44. “Counsel of the Holy” – from On Fire! (44)
  45. “Midnight Oil” – from Wake-Up Call (45)
  46. “We Need Jesus” – from Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus (46)
  47. “Right Place” – from Farewell – The live version of this song is so much better than the version on “No Doubt,” which itself is very good, that I have to get it in here. Everything is clicking. I love what Hartman is doing. I love Bailey’s “YYZ” inclusion. 
  48. “All About Who You Know” – from Jekyll & Hyde (47)
  49. “Beat The System” – from Captured In Time And Space (48)
  50. “For Annie” – from Never Say Die (49)

— — —

Dropping off…

  • “Send Revival, Start With Me” – from Revival (50)

Parting Thought

Farewell is a great live album in and of itself, but a fitting end to the Petra era. I have no major qualms with any of it. If I had to voice one, I would have LOVED to hear “Enter In,” the most underrated, under-appreciated song in the history of the band. Even so, if you love Petra but somehow missed this one, you need to get it. You won’t be disappointed. You can listen to the album here, or watch it here: 

Well, we’ve come to the end. Or have we? I feel good about finishing the series up to this point within the calendar year of 2022, Petra’s fiftieth anniversary year, because this was supposed to be the end for Petra. As you no doubt know, there were projects which came afterward, and to this day Petra is still around. There were II Guys from Petra, Classic Petra, CPR Band, and Petra itself. A couple of months ago the original four even got together for a concert. So while Petra’s “official” run ended in 2005, there is still more to consume, and I will be reviewing some of these projects here over the course of time (no promises on when). If or how those projects will be incorporated into my above lists is something I’m going to have to think about. But it will be fun, as all of this has been. I’ve greatly enjoyed sharing my love of Petra with anyone who has, is, or will ever read this.

One thought on “Petra at 50: Farewell (2005)

  1. That tapping was absolutely a blast to be at. I do wish they had done John Lawry’s whole solos. It totally kicked. With Paul Simmons playing with him. Then me asking for a solo from Paul. It would have been nice to have had a solo of his on the album. Judas kiss rocked and I am a C I am a CH and Lord I lift your name on High.

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