Saturday, March 15, 2008

I will break last night's concert down in about 3 or 4 parts, starting with..

The Glass of Wine

Now, I know the protocol when you go to concerts like this, is to drink a little before the show starts, because any alcoholic beverages at the show will be insanely priced. Well my lady and I had a little bit to drink at the house, but clearly it wasn't enough because when we strolled into Constitution Hall, we mutually made the terrible decision to head to the makeshift bar in the lobby. Wine was $8, and when you think about it, that isn't too bad, considering if we went out to dinner, we would pay about that much per glass. However it was the vessel that would be housing the wine we drank, that I had a problem with. To call it a glass, would be disrespectful to the fine reputation glass products have built over the years. This was more like a cup, that was the size of the top of a mouthwash bottle. By the time I got the taste of the wine, it was gone, and I didn't dare spend another $8. And then the concert staff had the nerve to tell folks that they could bring their drinks into the concert hall, as if it was too overwhelming to tackle the mouthwash in the lobby. I think this was my only complaint of the night

Raheem Devaughn

Now the last time I saw this man in concert was back in 2005, when he opened for New Edition and Brian McKnight, and I wasn't all that impressed. His show had the feel of a local artist who was happy to make it, and considering how professional New Edition and Brian were, Raheem's showmanship or lack thereof stuck out in a major way. Three years later, he's cut his cornrows, he's embraced the concept of wearing a suit, his band is WAY tighter, and now his show has polish. The one thing that has NOT changed over the years, is the strength of his voice, which is excellent. He ran through the songs from his first and second albums without missing a beat, he ran through the crowd during his big hit, "Woman", and at one point he even brought DC legend, Sugar Bear out to do a quick version of "Da Butt" from School Daze fame. But the highlight of the show was the fact that he had giant white flash cards to let everyone know what song he was singing. The honest truth is that I don't know Raheem's second album the way I know the first, so there were times when I was like, "What song is this?", but then, as if he was in an INXS video, he would hold up the giant flashcard, and all would be well with the world. It was golden.

Jill Scott

I saw Jill Scott on stage back in 2002, at the Roots $2 Bill show in Washington DC, and she was only on stage for about 10 minutes, but she absolutely killed it. She had personality and a range of vocals that totally blew me away. Fast forward 6 years, add seasoning, a divorce, and wisdom to that same woman, and what you have is a virtuoso performance. I've heard people(mainly women) say that Jill Scott annoys them sometimes because of her occasional preachiness, and I guess I could see that. But I enjoyed ALL sides of Jill Scott. There were times when she seemed to be sad and reflective on her divorce. There were definitely moments when she got a little bit preachy about how men and women should conduct themselves in relationships, but I never felt like I was being beat over the head. And then, as evidenced by her version of "Crown Royal" there were numerous moments that just oozed with sexuality, and that was just fine by me. I was telling my lady that Jill is one of the few artists, that actually sounds better live than she does on the Cd, and tonight didn't prove me wrong at all. She also brought out a DC legend(Chuck Brown), but since I'm not go-go fan this didn't move me as much as if moved the DC crowd. The highlight of the show to me was the opera version of "He Loves Me" that Jill sang. I really didn't think she would sing this song, since it was written for her now ex-husband, but she sang it perfectly opera style and showed off her vocal range.

Overall it was a damn good night, and most importantly my lady enjoyed her early birthday present so that's what really matters.

Only You - Jill Scott


Ryan said...

Man, I wish Toronto would get artists like this. As bad as this will sound the best R&B/Soul artist I've heard live has been Amos Lee. As much as I appreciate his stuff, and as strong of a live performance was, it's a sad state of affairs when the best R&B/Soul artist to stroll through Toronto is really a Blues/Folk artist.

TM said...

That was a wonderful review. I've seen her and she is always a pleasure to see. I agree that she can be a bit preachy but some people need to hear what she has to say. Her style has matured well over the years.

lex said...

lol @ drinking wine out of a dixie cup. don't they know you need room to fully experience the bouquet??

but yeah...about this raheem devaughn fellow, i know i'm late - por supuesto - but all i know of him is that he tends to have songs that are comprised of maybe three or four words.

oh...and he has a lot of raw emotion.

his music seems to have more feel rather than substance, ntawwt.

anyway have i been sleeping? im always willing to try something new...