On April 1, 2011, I attended my first ol skool concert in a longtime, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. I went with my friend C, sister, and cousin. It was a different concert experience for me, especially because this time I was the minority attending a concert where the majority of attendees were older than me. So I had to take out the nice slacks and dress extra nice because older grown folks go all out!
To start the show, comedian Sherman Golden opened. He used to be on the original Def Comedy Jam with Martin Lawrence. Most of his material I couldn't relate to maybe because of age but the crowd seemed to love him. After he finished, saxophonist Aaron Bing played. He was good but it made me sleepy. It would've been better if he played when people were arriving.
Raheem definitely knew his audience and tailored his set accordingly. . . that's a true performer. Before he went into his material, he played some ol skools songs to get the crowd warmed up like Gonna Have a Funky Good Time by James Brown and Rock With You by MJ.
Check out the link below of his performance of Women. Towards the end of the clip, he did a call and response with the crowd using the song's lyrics, asking the men to say "you are appreciated" and the women to respond with "thank you." Then the women and men switched lines. Great way to bring some love and appreciation in the house. For Guess Who Loves You More, his band mixed in the beat of Computer Love by Roger & Zapp. I also really liked how his backup singers complimented Raheem.
Towards the end of his set, Raheem started a DJ vs. Band battle. His DJ started out by playing Love and Happiness by Al Green. His band countered with Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye as Raheem suddenly walked through the audience on the main level and into the upstairs sections singing. After singing B.O.B., his female backup singer responded with a great remix from a woman's perspective. For those of you unaware, B.O.B. stands for, Battery Operated Boyfriend. Of course Raheem ended his set with a little Go-Go and was accompanied on stage by Sugar Bear from EU to sing Da Butt. Everybody got out of their seats for that one.
4. Freakin' You (Jodeci cover)
6 & 7. You/Guess Who Loves You More
10. Da Butt
Then for the main act. . .Maze featuring Frankie Beverly who entered playing Time is on My Side. Frankie was wearing the same white cap, shirt, and pants that I remembered as a kid. Unfortunately, no videotaping was allowed. So pissed about that because I would've loved to have shown you guys their amazing performance.
Everyone stood up when they performed We Are One and the guy playing the organ did his thing! You There was so much love and unity in place. You could feel the energy. People were dancing in the aisles and in their seats.
When they sang one of my favs, Can't Get Over You, the vibe was so chill, you just wanted to close your eyes and soak up every moment. It felt as if it was summer time and we were outside. Boy, it was hot up in there. I don't think I've ever been to a concert where I was getting hot. We were grooving man!
During their performance of Golden Time of Day, the lead guitar had a solo. He created a nice groove and killed it!! For Joy and Pain, they had the disco balls going and everybody got up. . .it was a ol skool house party.
To read more and see photos, click here.