Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Singer vs. Entertainer

Watching Sunday's Billboard Awards (don't judge me cause I watched) and seeing people perform like Britney Spears and then Celine Dion confirmed I needed to write this post that has been in my head for a while. . . .comparing The Singer vs. The Entertainer.

The Singer:  A person who has great vocal ability and could carry a show just with his/her voice.  They don't need added things like dancers or special effects.

The Entertainer:  A person who may or may not have the best vocal ability but need that added support of dancers and special effects to carry a show.

Britney was clearing the Entertainer as she lip-synced her entire performance but it was filled with dancers and great choreo and effects.  I don't think people even cared that she wasn't singing.  With Celine, although she did have some effects, I was mostly drawn with her incredible vocal delivery.



These definitions were created on the basis of if someone were to see these artists in concerts, what would they be looking forward to experiencing. . .hearing an amazing live vocal delivery or seeing an amazing visual performance.  I'm not saying one is better than the other per se, just saying it's really a preference thing in some cases.


Do you agree with my assessment?  Who would you put in those categories?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bad Boy Artists Reunite for Upcoming Tour


The reunion show, featuring Lil Kim, the Lox, Mase, Faith Evans, Mario Winans, 112, Total, Carl Thomas and French Montana, started out as just one NYC show on May 20 to celebrate the birthday of Notorious B.I.G.  Then I guess Diddy realized it had to be bigger than that and turned it into a tour. The Bad Boy Records era was during a time when hip-hop music was on an amazing musical high.  This just might be one of the most epic concerts of the year


Tour Schedule

Aug. 25 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center
Aug. 26 - Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Bank Arena
Aug. 27 - Chicago, IL - United Center
Aug. 31 - Kansas City, MO - Sprint Center
Sept. 2 - Detroit, MI - The Palace of Auburn Hills
Sept. 3 - Baltimore, MD - Royal Farms Arena
Sept. 4 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
Sept. 6 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
Sept. 8 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
Sept. 10 - Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena
Sept. 11 - Tampa, FL - Amalie Arena
Sept. 14 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
Sept. 15 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
Sept. 16 - San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
Sept. 18 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
Sept. 20 - Charlotte, NC - Time Warner Cable Arena
Sept. 22 - Washington, DC - Verizon Center
Sept. 23 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
Sept. 24 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
Sept. 25 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
Oct. 1 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
Oct. 2 - Glendale, AZ - Gila River Arena
Oct. 3 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum
Oct. 6 - San Diego, CA - Viejas Arena
Oct. 8 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena


Click here for ticket info

K. Michelle Announces 'Hello Kimberly' Tour




After releasing her third album More Issues than Vogue in March, K. Michelle will hit the road this summer to support it.


Tour Schedule

July 12 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
July 14 – Richmond, VA – The National
July 15 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva
July 16 – St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center (Radio Show)
July 19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
July 20 – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live!
July 21 – Washington, D.C. – The Fillmore
July 23 – Detroit, MI – Chene Park
July 27 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
July 28 – Greensboro, NC – Cone Denim Center
July 29 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz Theatre
July 30 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
July 31 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre
Aug. 2 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live
Aug. 5 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Aug. 6 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theater
Aug. 7 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Aug. 12 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Aug. 13 – Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theatre

Aug. 14 – Los Angeles, CA – The Novo


Click here for ticket info

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Voice Season 10: Top 9


Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/9c on NBC

This week, the Top 9 performed.  below are the MusicLife favs . . . .



Contestant:  Hannah Huston
Team:  Pharrell
Song: Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware

Very sweet and soulful vocal delivery.  Loved the part when the chorus comes in #church


Contestant:  Alisan Porter
Team:  Christina
Song:  Cryin' by Aerosmith

She rocked it. . . another solid performance.


Contestant:  Bryan Bautista
Team:  Christina
Song:  1+1 by Beyonce

A great execution of a female vocal song with minimal accompaniment that allowed his vocals to shine.


Team Christina continues to give solid performances.  Last night, Paxton (Team Blake) and Nick (Team Christina) found themselves in the bottom two.  In the end, America chose Paxton in the Instant Save. 

Next week, the Top 8 perform in the semi-finals

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Nothing Super About DC's Ladies Night R&B Super Jam

May 8, 2016 -Verizon Center - Washington, DC

So my O surprised me with tickets to the Ladies Night R&B concert sponsored by local radio station WKYS.  It's funny because when the show was announced a while back, I was going to ask him if he wanted to go but realized I had another commitment for that night so I never brought it up.  However, due to a Washington Capitals hockey game, the concert was pushed to Sunday. . . I guess things happen for a reason.  For this concert experience, we saw it from up top in a suite which was cool.  Last time I was in a suite was for an MJB concert a few years back.

The show started promptly at 7pm and I have no clue who the opening act was other than some dude rapping.  Still confused as to why you would have rap artists involved in an R&B show but maybe, just maybe there is some logic that I don't see.

The beginning performances did around 15 minute sets with the bigger name acts doing close to 30.  Black Rob came out first performing popular hits like Let's Get it, I Dare You, and of course Whoa.  Total (only Pam and Kima) came out afterward doing songs like Trippin', What About Us, Who Do You Love, Sitting Home, Kissing Me, and a song I used to play on repeat Can't You See.  Pam was definitely getting her life up there and to then realize she had recently lost her mom.  Despite this loss, I appreciated her willingness to still come out and give an energetic performance.  Next up was Backstreet with a set that included Don't Leave Me, Before I Let Go, and No Diggity.  They sounded great.

Now heading into the second hour of performances, The Lox performed known hits like Money, Power, Respect, It's All About the Benjamins, and We Gonna Make it.  Jadakiss wasn't present but original members Styles P, looking a lot slimmer, and Sheek Louch were out there.  But the "real" entertainment didn't begin until Jodeci came out.  LORD. . . talk about a hot boiled mess!!!  As I suspected, they were singing along to a very loud backing track because that's the only way they're going to sound right.  I couldn't tell but either Mr. Dalvin or Devonte wasn't there.  They "sang" popular songs like Stay, Come and Talk to Me, Forever My Lady, Feenin', and Freakin' You.  There was one point when KC took off his shirt and did this old man grind.  Whoever told him to do that needs to be stabbed!  It was really embarrassing.

To save the night, Faith followed, starting her set with All Night.  However a couple minutes into it her mic failed and all you heard was her background vocal track (not the same as Jodeci though but more background singer vocals). . .#epicfail.  Once that was straighten out, she continued with songs like You Gets No Love, Soon As I Get Home, Love You, and Love Like This.  112 then came out and were great vocally.  They sang songs like Only You, Cupid, Peaches and Cream, Dance With Me.  I wish they had more stage time though.  I loved their New Edition Like choreo.

Things started turning for the worst again at the end of the show when El Debarge came on a little after 10:30pm.  By this time, the arena was damn near EMPTY!  I felt so bad.  He sang Stay With Me, All This Love, Time Will Reveal, and Call Your Name.  What was the most embarrassing was during his last song the house lights came on. . .are you serious?!  Is that how you treat a legend?  Where's the respeck? (sorry had to do that).  When El was finished, he left and the stage was quickly being broken down.  It would've been nice if El ended the night with Rhythm of the Night and then someone from WKYS came out to say "Thank You and Good Night."  But instead, we got straight up crickets.

I really didn't have high expectations for this show, but I went into it with the mindset of having an opportunity to reminisce on songs I used to play on repeat back in the day.  I really hope if O did pay for the tickets, it wasn't much.  I also wish they had the jumbo-tron on so people high up like me could see.  Our suite had an obstructive view blocking the screens above each side of the stage.  The sound was bad too.  They would've had better luck taking this concept show to a small venue like DAR Constitution Hall or The Howard Theatre.  Verizon was no place for 90s R&B with the set up they had.  Apparently, they did a similar show in February in NYC, which was sold out.  From what I heard, people shared my same sentiments, especially about Jodeci.  SWV, Carl Thomas and Jagged Edge perform in NYC, which people said were great performances.

The night wasn't all a bust though. . . . DJ QuickSilva from WKYS did the damn thing on the 1s and 2s in between sets.  He did a great job getting people on their feet jammin to ol skool hits like BBD's Poison, Arrested Development's Tennessee.  Silva kept the energy alive.  And of course it was nice to once again share a musical moment with O and that made everything worth it at the end of the night.






Monday, May 9, 2016

The Voice Season 10: Top 10


Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/9c on NBC

Last week, the Top 10 performed but I felt like some of the constants weren't at their best like in previous weeks.  Before I get to my favs, I'd just like to say that the performance from DNCE was great!  I loved their new song Toothbrush.  Ok, now to the MusicLife favs . . . .



Contestant:  Shalyah Fearing
Team:  Adam
Song: My Kind of Love by Emeli Sandé

Shalyah always puts the right amount of emotion in her performances. . .another solid one.


Contestant:  Alisan Porter
Team:  Christina
Song:  Let Him Fly by Patti Griffin

I loved the stripped down, raw, and vulnerable performance she gave.

I would say now Team Christina and Adam's team are rising up in the ranks as stronger teams.Team Blake is getting stronger giving Christina some competition.  Daniel (Team Pharrell) found himself in the bottom again and Nick (Team Christina) found himself needing to be saved.(Team Adam).  In the end, Nick was moved on after the Instant Save but I doubt he'll be able to save in the competition for long.


Let's see who shines in the Top 9 is tonight.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Anthony Hamilton & Fantasia Create Soulful Match in Sold Out Baltimore Show

April 30, 2016 - Pier 6 Pavilion - Baltimore, MD

I went to the show with my O and was excited to share a live musical experience with him for the first time.  Unfortunately, the weather wasn't that pleasant as it felt like we were outside on a cold fall night in Baltimore when the sun went down.  It also rained and I felt bad for those who had lawn seats.  O and I were kept dry underneath the pavilion.

Anthony started the show around 8pm and one of the first songs performed was the crowd favorite Best of Me.  The minute the song dropped, people jumped to their feet.  It was a great way to start the show and get people excited.  A special moment of Hamilton's set was when he sang Still.  There was this calmness in the air as Anthony sang sitting on a white tall chair under a single spotlight.  When he got to the point of the song where he just sings the word Still several times with pauses in between, it gave me goosebumps.  His vocal delivery was magical and spiritual, you couldn't help but to be moved.  How does one put so much emotion in just one word!  Of course Anthony's backup singers The Hamiltones had their moment to shine.  They did a little medley of their gospel twist on hip-hop songs like Hotline Bling and Respek from the recent Birdman Breakfast Club interview.

Due to a leg injury, Anthony didn't move that much.  I swear, he is forever having leg injuries because the last time I saw him years ago, he had a leg injury as well.  Anthony is a pro at connecting with the audience, like we're all family.  He mixed in some ol skool samples in his set.  This is always a sure way of pleasing the crowd.  For Charlene, I loved how he incorporated the Dells song A Heart is a House For Love, which he performed just like in one of my favorite movies The Five Heartbeats.  For Diamond in the Rough, he mixed in Love Changes by Mother's Finest.  It's all about knowing your audience and he mastered it!

Around 9:30pm, Fantasia walked down a flight of stairs to the center stage and sang Lose to Win, mixing in some I'm Your Baby Tonight by Whitney.  Let me tell you, I love Anthony but Fantasia tore the house down!!!  She takes you through her journey the way she emotes through her songs.  When it got to her doing Rolling on a River, she and her backup singers, The Sugars, did an energetic rendition of Tina's performance.  You can tell that after all the pain she's been through the last few years, she's definitely in a great place.  The level of confidence she had up there, like "I'mma do me."  Fantasia also mixed samples in her set.  For When I See You, she mixed in Get on Up by Jodeci.  Halfway through the show, Fantasia took a break and The Sugars did a medley of Nasty Girl by Vanity 6 and The Bird by Morris Day.  Then the keyboard player did a little bit of Roger and Zapp's I Wanna Be Your Man.  For her final song, Fantasia debuted Sleeping With the One I Love, off her upcoming album (June 10).  She told the crowd she wanted to keep true to real music on this album and have sounds like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding...she accomplished that task with this song.

O and I were sitting in the first row center of the second section which when I brought the tickets, I thought was a great spot since nobody would be in front of us.  However, I soon realized it was a fail because the space in front of us was used as a main thoroughfare.  I thought O was going to be pissed at me for getting these seats.  However, when Fantasia began to perform Sleeping with the One I Love, she walked off stage and into the audience and eventually landed right in our area...jackpot!  Of course everybody and their mama started to come up front to get a glimpse.  I underestimated how much love people have for Fantasia.


Setlist

Anthony Hamilton
1.  Save Me
2.  Best of Me
3.  Amen
4.  Diamond in the Rough
5.  Soul's on Fire
6.  Still
7.  Pray for Me
8.  Charlene
9. So in Love




Fantasia
1.  Lose to Win
2.  Selfish
3.  Don't Act Right
4.  Without Me
5.  I'm Doin' Me
6.  Bittersweet
7.  Rolling on a River (Tina Turner cover)
9.  When I See You
10. If I Ruled the World (Nas cover)
11. Truth Is
12. Free Yourself
13. Ain't Gon' Beg you
14 Sleeping With the One I Love


Pairing Anthony and Fantasia for this tour was a perfect match of soul and I was happy to have shared that moment with O as he enjoyed the show was well.  If you have never seen these two live, I suggest you find the opportunity to do so.

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