Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Personally, I am not a big fan of live concert performances. I guess it's nice to see your favorite artists in the flesh, but other than that it's nothing special. Out of all the types of concerts I have attended over the years, rap concerts are definitely the worst. In most cases the artist(s) hardly ever exceed or even meet my expectations during a live performance. Some seem to have to attitude like they paid me to come see them perform instead of the other way around? There are a few exceptions like Luther Vandross, Joe Sample, Eric Roberson, Michael Jackson, Brian McKnight, etc. It’s obvious that some artists actually understand the true meaning of showmanship, while most don't have a clue. In my opinion, when it comes to a live performance I want to see more than just the rapping or singing of the words. That’s boring as hell! The focus should be about bringing the music to life to make the performance something memorable. I want to feel the excitement and enthusiasm from an artist on stage. Surprise me with additional lyrics, a different beat, a break dance move or something dammit! I hate when an artist is standing on stage mumbling into the microphone swaying back and forth like they don’t really want to be there? That’s like giving me a tall glass of NyQuil and a warm bath. After 5 minutes of watching a show like that, I will definitely be snoring before the night is over. When I don't see that extra effort being demonstrated by an artist during a live performance it angers me. All I do is sit there thinking how much happier I would have been just listening to their CD instead of paying good money to watch this mediocre performance. Natural talent seems to be nonexistent for many in this new generation of artists throughout the industry today. Since, talented producers use clever production trickery to hiding their lack of talent (sometimes), performing live is usually where their flaws are revealed leaving the fans disappointed in most cases. Damn, I hate when that happens!

Luckily for me, I went to a great concert event over the past weekend. Erykah Badu was the headliner while Lyfe Jennings and Monica Blaire got the concert party started. Monica Blaire is a female soul-singer from Detroit that I have become very fond of over the last few months. She is definitely a singer that I think has the potential to be one of the great ones in the future. In a 3 song set, Monica owned the stage a like a veteran singer. Good stuff no matter how you slice it! After Ms. Blaire exited, Lyfe Jennings and his crew hit the stage. Personally, I am not a fan of Lyfe’s music. It’s nothing against him personally, but his music just doesn’t move me. Well, I should say didn’t move me before. Lyfe Jennings is a perfect example of how a great live show can actually make people want to buy your music on CD. This dude put on a helluva show to say the least, so now I plan on finding some of his music to add to my collection. Mr. Jennings told us a story with his songs that described who he was and what he had gone through to reach this point in his life. All of songs flowed well, plus the guy can actually sing! He played the acoustic version of one of his older tracks with a guitar on his lap and he ripped it! At that point I began to wonder how and why I had been sleeping on this kat for so long.

Erykah Badu is a seasoned veteran at the live concert game. This was actually the second time that I have seen Erykah live, and her performances seem effortless, but always entertaining! Forget lip gloss, Erykah had the afro wig poppin’ for real! Not only is she sexy, but she understands her audience very well. She knows what to do and when to do it! A lot of folks don’t know that Erykah had aspirations of being a rapper before her singing career took off, so whenever Ms. Badu gets the chance to spit a rhyme she will. During the performance of one of my top 5 Erykah Badu tracks “Back in the Day (Puff),” she cleverly incorporated classic rap lyrics from legends like Slick Rick and LL Cool J without missing a beat. A masterful performance no doubt, but from a class act like Erykah Badu I expected nothing less. Lyfe Jennings was the sleeper surprise of the night though! I didn’t think he had it in him, but he had us all on our feet cheering before he left the stage. I hardly ever do the standing ovation thing at concerts because it’s rarely deserved, so if I got up to applaud Lyfe he must have been pretty good! It was nice to leave a concert with a feeling a satisfaction instead of the nasty taste of disappointment that I normally have when I leave one…

Since, we are on live performances...have you seen this one yet? Why Jay Leno played my dude Dwele like just another background singer I'll never know?

Common ft. Dwele - The People Live on Tonight Show


Big Homie said...

I was listening to Lyfe's latest album on my journey home Sunday evening. He's live performances were live. I remember before he got big and opened up for Angie Stone and Anthony Hamilton, homie did a good performance. Common is off the hook live. Cant count how many times I have seen him live. I never seen Erykah Badu life. I lost with that one.

Big Homie said...

Okay I just re-read my comment. WTF??? Sentence fragments and typos out the ass. In a rush before my 4:30 meeting.

SoundNexx DJ said...

I actually have a copy of Lyfe's last album, but I never listened to it for some reason? I'll be playing catch up with that though.

Yes, Common, The Roots, Public Enemy, KRS & BDK all have great live shows! It's the new dudes that stank at it IMO..LOL!