Ok, where are all my 70’s/80’s babies out there? Don’t all raise your hand at once, but you should because this post is directed towards you. Do you all remember a time when music was dominated by Prince and ALL of his associates and the Minneapolis sound of funk rock? If you answered yes to this question, then why weren’t you at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club last Friday?
Morris Day & The Time brought the sound that defined the entire 1980’s to Bethesda, MD as a stop on their national tour, for not one, but two shows. For a lot of artist these days (especially the younger ones), doing one show a night is a taxing situation, but when you’re a veteran in the music industry, being able to body multiple shows in a night is a piece of cake.
During the hour and a half show, Morris Day took us on a musical journey that to the core of things, just makes you feel good. I go to a LOT of concerts to take pictures and review the events, but I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been captivated to the point of coming out of “work mode” and start grooving to the tunes as if I was a fan, and this was one of those moments. Each song literally was a back to back jam that I remember my parents playing as a child growing up.
Halfway into the show, Mr. Day wanted to bring the ladies up on stage, and BOY, did they go flocking. I’m used to seeing the young girls jumping barricades and hopping on stage when a rapper wants to bring females on stage, but tonight, it was all about the seasoned women. Those ladies who have aged like fine wine along with the music that was being played tonight. One of the participants stole the show though! Mama Sandy from Washington, DC took center stage and showed out for the 60+ crowd when she dry humped guitarist Tori Ruffin WHILE he was still playing. It was totally a sight to behold.
Not to be one to forget his roots, several times throughout the show, Morris took a few moments to stop playing one of his numerous songs, to get into classic hits by his mentor Prince. You could feel the emotion being conveyed as these songs played, with the Purple One’s death still looming over us. If there is anyone who could do his songs justice, it’s someone who was once in his inner circle.
It came to the point of the show when the crowd was asked the infamous question “WHAT TIME IS IT?!”, which immediately brought out a brigade of flapping arm gestures, to signal that it was indeed time for “The Bird“. What is known to be his staple song, and one of the tracks lifted from the iconic classic move “Purple Rain“, this was also the song that first introduced me to Morris Day and The Time.
This performance again showed that he loves to interact with his audience, when even more folk were invited on the stage. The setting of the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club was perfect for this event, because it said classic, sophisticated and smooth as fine wine, and not to mention intimate, all things that Morris Day tends to exude.
This past Thursday, #TBT held up to exact meanings on the campus of Bowie State University when the #FanTheFlame homecoming throwback concert took place at the Leonidas S. James Complex.
When we arrived, the doors to the venue had not opened yet, but that didn’t stop the students and alumni alike from coming out. The lines to see Dru Hill, Trina and Backyard Band were long and running down through the yard of the campus…this is the type of fanfare that you want at a concert experience. As soon as the doors opened, the crowd started rushing in to take their rightful spot either directly in front of the stage, or off to the seated areas to the side.
The concert was brought to the campus and produced by Briclyn Entertainment, which is spearheaded and founded by Anshia B. Crooms, a proud Bowie State University alum. Briclyn’s ability to bring a throwback concert to a college campus, whose base demographic were barely even walking when some of the acts were prominent in the music career, showed the true power of how good music will never go out of style.
Mr. Bowie himself, Cool Ant was not only the host of the show, but he was one of the main acts during the comedy portion, which also featured two other comedians, all from Baltimore.
The Modell Performing Arts Center of Baltimore, more affectionately known simply as The Lyric played host to a concert experience last night that I’m still trying to find true words for.
Soul balladeer Anthony Hamilton, along with Lalah Hathaway and Eric Benet brought his What I’m Feelin’ Tour to Downtown Baltimore, on what felt like the first true Fall night of the season. The air was cool and crisp, the sky pitch black by 7:30 PM, but that didn’t stop folks from coming out to see this show. This particular show was one where I truly got to see age categories mesh so perfectly. On one hand you had your dapper dressed older gentleman who took their similarly elegant wives out for a special evening, which was low key pushing past their bedtime, and on the other hand you had the younger crowd which encompassed the couple who were probably out on their first date together.
Just like fresh air, Yuna appeared at the perfect time in the music industry. After releasing much audio and visual content, all containing her beautiful soothing pop-jazzy sound with impactful lyrics over pop and hip-hop beats, music lovers fell head over heels. So, it was no surprise that on Tuesday September 27th, 2016 Live at the 9:30 club in Washington DC, all of her fans where ready with many of her lyrics memorized in anticipation of them hearing their favorite songs.
Yet another summer has technically come and gone, and all the while we are still holding onto most of the memories that we made, there’s still a chance to take advantage of the dwindling days of nice weather to create new ones. Insert the inaugural Break The Internet Festival that took place just this past weekend in Washington, DC.
With what was one of the hottest days of the season, the temperature sure didn’t stop over 4,000 millennials from packing out the Gateway Pavilion in South East D.C. on Saturday, September 10, 2016. A burning question that I’ve been wondering is, why is it that some of these promoters choose to hold these outside shows when the heat is turned up to oven hot? I mean I know that they don’t have any control of it, but it seems like too much of a coincidence that it chooses to be 95 degrees and above at most of these outside events that we’ve covered lately.
It’s always interesting to see music festivals start out at their very beginnings, and I had the honor of saying that I witnessed the VERY first Break The Internet Fest. With some new festivals, people are a little shy to attend because of the sheer fact of the “unknown”, but that totally wasn’t the case because of the powered up lineup. The organizers had tapped some big names in the rap game to tackle this show…Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, O.T. Genasis, Jacquees, Dreezy, Kent Jones, Reesa Renee were all there, but we were treated to a few special appearances too.
The show officially started at 3 PM with a few local DMV acts to help welcome the crowd in. To our surprise, quite a few people had already started arriving relatively “on time”. The festival DJ kept the tunes pumping while people walked around the grounds of DC Gateway, and while music was the main focus, there were also vendors on site, as well as a nice variety of food trucks.
Unlike most music festivals, this one came with a purpose. The underlying reason for this show was to honor those striving for academic excellence. Co-founder Mia Fields-Hall says “(The) Break The Internet Fest was created to give college kids a chance to continue their education without financial stress and to encourage them to go above and beyond their dreams.” This was no more evident than when $2,500 college tuition scholarship was awarded to a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Many of you reading this post may remember a pinnacle period in life…the days of 1999 and the corresponding years. This time was a special time for me because I was nearing the end to my high school career, gas was extremely cheap, we were on the horizon of a new century AND millennium (who could forget the whole Y2K debacle?) and music was great! The music was so damn good that MTV curated it’s own countdown show which not only celebrated the biggest music videos at the time, but also was the launching pad for up and coming budding artist as well.
A few of those TRL artist were boy band 98 Degrees, Dream, O-Town, and Ryan Cabrera, all of who are headlining the appropriately titled MY2K Tour, which is certainly a nod to that whole great era in pop music.
Baltimore experienced sort of an “extraterrestrial” moment last week when Don Giovanni Records band Outer Spaces touched down for their record release concert on May 20th.
The show had an extremely organic feeling to it, thanks in part due to the show taking place at Current Spaces on Howard Street in Downtown Baltimore. This was one of few shows that I have attended which has occurred in not only such a small and intimate venue, but also in an outside venue with the same attributes. The ambiance was scenic as there were various locally crafted pieces of art placed around the perimeter of the courtyard. The vibe was euphoric as all of the audience was in a trance during all 4 acts of the show.
There were a few opening bands to come out before main course of the night. We had the opportunity to see Wildhoney, Wume, and Romantic States, all of who brought something a little different to the show, and the fans seemed to enjoy it, but it was Outer Spaces who you could tell EVERYONE was there to see.
Not only did their showing serve as an album release show, but it was also the kick off for the “A Shedding Snake” tour, and what made things even MORE special, is that they are Baltimore based, so for them to bring the love right back home, and equally receive it throughout the night is what an artist and band dreams of.
Outer Spaces opened their set with a new song entitled “Heavy Stone Poem” and performed nine out of the thirteen songs which is housed on “A Shedding Snake”, before closing the night out with their current single “I Saw You“. If you’re wondering how the album sounds, the album explores the evolution of ones life through a blend of mellow folk rock and catchy indie ballads.
Catch the band when they come to a town near you!
Wednesday night in Baltimore was an extremely colorful one, one with a gold hue extending over the Inner Harbor section of the city. No, it wasn’t because of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but because of the energy that was brought to town from Philadelphia based artist Santigold as her “We Buy Gold” tour arrived at Baltimore Soundstage.
Beyonce’ has headed back out on tour to support her newly released album, ‘Lemonade‘, her sixth number one debut. Also featured on the Formation World Tour is none other than DJ Khaled. Each bringing their own elements to the show and leaving a potential audience to wonder if their talents would bode well together.