Sound check was hot…… literally….. it felt like 300 degrees. We got to sit in an listen to Raheem setting up and then we got on……..briefly… but briefly on this kind of soundstage is still the business.
It’s kind of funny…. I wasn’t really nervous. Our new addition on keys — James Spears said “This ain’t nothing but a rehearsal with people.” That reminded me that we already did the work, now it was time to apply it and just have fun.
Now……..I am sure when a director shoots a film he probably would prefer you didn’t see it compressed and in a little window on youtube. A lot of times as an independent artist it feels like that… there are a lot of compromises that make you feel like people don’t get the full picture…….. So then imagine this is IMAX…. 3D…… DOLBY SURROUND….. CENTER SEATS!!
I’m not saying you need a light show, caribbean island, smoke machines etc…. but I doesn’t hurt.
Funny man Chris Spencer was the host. He had the crowd rocking and gave me a great introduction (as well as some encouraging words after my set). We played some of my signatures tunes (Composure, Love Revolution, Seasons, and Gone) with a few surprises.
I have never performed to such a large audience. It was a sold out event. They estimated the crowd at 5000!!
It is an amazing feeling to perform for so many people and still feel a connection. I could see the faces of the people in the front 5-10 rows and see the movement of the people further back. They were getting it in!!! We did some crowd participation and at that point I could hear the roar of the voices from people in the stands. This was truly a dream fulfilling moment for me.
As I walked off the stage… before I could get down the stairs, Mark the Production Manager asked me, “Do you have any more?!”
Well…… since this was kind of a new unit we had no more of my material rehearsed, but one thing that I will never turn down is an opportunity to freestyle. So I ran back up on the stage and explained to the crowd that what we were about to do something that should not be attempted without parental supervision (well actually I just explained we were coming off the head). In addition to getting the crowd involved, the band members got to flex and kill their solos. Tiffany T’zelle murdered it– (been telling her It’s her time)
Here is the interview with some footage from the show. I hope to get the rest to post soon.
I am a student of the craft, as well as a fan, so after a while I went into the crowd to watch the show. WOW!!! WOW!!! Incognegro cover blown!! I took so many pics and signed so many autographs that I couldn’t help but feel we did what we came to do.
I met a ton of people both local as well as folks from around the way, like DC, NJ , NY, and everyones energy was great.
We sold out of CD’s and I regretted packing those extra kicks in space that could have held CD’s… lesson learned.
Mary‘s show was incredible!!! So many hits and tons of energy – YO represent. Toni Braxton sounded great. I have never seen her live before. In the break room, I saw a familiar face. Derrick Wright was her drummer and he played on my record as well. AIGHT!! Raheem is a real down to earth dude. I really felt his set. We have a lot in common. I would love to do a collabo with him. We slipped him a record, so who knows….. Joe‘s set was really smooth. Dude has a lot of swag and crazy vocals….. and he brought a horn section.. always a good look.
My final day, I got to chill with the Soulbeach staff…we took a speedboat to a private island complete with flamingoes, iguanas and the best snorkeling I have ever done. Later that night we all went to a famous lighthouse on the island and I looked up at a sky filled with stars hoping to be one myself one day.
To everyone that voted and made this a possibility for me….. I thank you. I hope although I couldn’t take you with me…. and many of you did ask(insist)…. you know that I took you with me.
You are all the steam that powers my engine.
Big shouts to my squad - from left to right - (James Spears :Keys, Tiffany T’zelle :Vocals, Les Cleveland :MD/Drums, Miles Anthony :Manager, David DJ Ginyard :Bass )
Mark Adkins, Cynthia, Alissa, Moneek, Victoria, Moshay, Mike Jones, Layton, Kristin, Anthony, Zo, Terry Bello, Karl, SoulBeach, Blackplanet, Righteous Music Records and Righteous Music Media, LLC.
And of Course!!!! Can’t forget all of you who support me and what we are trying to do!!!!