As you all may know, the DC/Maryland/Virginia (most lovingly referred to as the DMV), is a relatively tough crowd to please when it comes to music, so not only to get them to come out to your concert, but also sell out the venue is quite an accomplishment. This is an accomplishment that Ms. Chrisette Michele can be proud of.
The show was presented by DCLA Productions Entertainment Company. This was not the first time that we have been to an event given by DCLA, and each time they have been extremely pleasurable experiences featuring talent who bring it on stage. With that being said, it should be no surprise that this concert that took place on February 20th would be any different.
We arrived at the venue around 6 PM to what appeared to be a line wrapped around the corner. This is the type of fanfare that an artist could only wish for, so to actually get it is a crowning achievement all in itself. Doors to the Fillmore opened earlier than expected, allowing concert goers to enter the downstairs bar and get out of the weather. From the sounds of things upstairs, you could tell that artist sound-check was still going on. It’s times like this where I wish that the casual fan could get a glimpse into a pre-show sound-check to see how the makings of a concert all come together. 7:30 PM rolled around and we were all allowed to go upstairs to the main concert hall. You could tell the excitement of people in the crowd by the way they were hauling upstairs, running to try to land their spot directly against the guardrail in front of the stage.
Most shows that we’ve been to (and there have been a LOT), usually keep the crowd semi-entertained and warmed up by playing a playlist selected by the artist over the house PA system, not for this show. We had a live DJ to set the tone for the show. On tap for our listening pleasure was DJ Beauty and the Beatz, a musical phenom for three reasons, in that she’s a 14 year old female celebrity DJ. The number of female DJ’s in this day and age isn’t so surprising, but to have one at that age is quite remarkable. She took the audience, who was a bit more mature than most concert crowds at the Fillmore, on a trip Down South to the A, over to the Left Coast, and back to the DMV. Speaking of the DMV, that leads us to the first opening act, the DMV’s own ‘Wonder Woman‘, Ms. PatriceLIVE.
This was actually my second time seeing PatriceLIVE in concert; the first was coincidentally last year at the Fillmore, in another show put on by DCLA Productions. Opening up her set with her new single “Catwalk”, folks who weren’t yet familiar with Patrice quickly saw the sass that the DC native was about to display. Adorned with two female dancers, she gave you the sense that although she is pretty in looks, she’s not afraid to get sweaty and lay it down on stage. Only performing about 4 songs, one of the high moments in her performance is when she performed a cover of Ciara’s hit “Body Party”, full with a chair dance routine and the whole nine. Don’t get it twisted though, this young lady can really sing too. Her music combined with her magnetic energy and personality, in which she displayed while interacting with the crowd, will blow you away. Make sure you go pick up her debut album, “Ghost of Boyfriends Past”
Next up was North Carolina based rapper Joshua Gunn. I’ll be blatantly honest, I had NEVER heard of this brother until they announced him on the stage. The minute he walked out on stage dressed in a black suit and bow tie, I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be another rapper who only spits about a whole lot of nothing, over top the same trap beat that we’ve heard 40 times before, and I was absolutely right. Signed to Dame Dash’s new label BluRock, Gunn was reminiscent of J.Cole just a bit, in that he sang about relevant topics that most people can relate to. Aside from having great lyrical content and delivery, this dude actually had stage presence folks, something that his contemporaries lack in the rap game.
You could tell that Gunn was extremely proud of his home state. He repped his college alma mater, North Carolina A&T University by shouting out a loud Aggie Pride! during his set, and also brought along a fellow NC native, Brandon Pierre, who sang the hooks on most of his songs. Almost every track he performed had a catchy beat, something that I look forward to in songs, but when you have words that reach out and makes me raise an ear, that’s what keeps me locked in and wanting more. I’ll be checking for this dudes music online, and I suggest you do the same, because he’s what the industry needs right now.
The lady of the evening, Chrisette Michele, made her way to the stage after a grand introduction worthy of the singer. Celebrating ten years of music magic this year, Chrisette took the audience on a journey through her musical catalog. Performing her singles “Epiphany”, “What You Do” and from her new album Milestone, “Steady”.
An energetic sold out crowd sang along with her but they were also treated to previews of new music from her upcoming release. She took the time before a few songs to talk to the crowd and explain her mindset during that period of her life. The confidence that she exudes in her performances is stellar and her vocal control is insane. Musically, with ‘Milestone’ we are bound to see a side of this artist that has yet to be seen.
The screams, cheers and impromptu hollers of the crowd made a night was filled with laughs, music and love that much more enjoyable. The Fillmore Silver Spring was treated to an amazing show courtesy of the undeniable talents of Chrisette Michele. Make sure that you keep an eye out for the release of her new album and purchase her single “Steady” which is available on iTunes now.