Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Last night, I was at the Liberation Tour, featuring Melonie Fiona, D'Angelo and starring Mary J. The three artists each had something to bring, in regards to the journey they're currently embarking on.

For Melonie Fiona, she's putting her name out there more and more, with people truly being receptive and appreciative of her work. It's only a matter of time before she's headlining her own show or, at the worst, the name right under the headliner. She's that good.

With D'Angelo, it's a lil' different. Now I am a HUGE D'Angelo fan and will defend just about every single action of his. I saw him at Essence and made every excuse in the book as to why his performance left much to be desired. The crowd wasn't really into it and, at times, it looked like he wasn't either. However, that certainly wasn't the case last night in Houston.

He was way more comfortable, confident and happy on stage than he appeared to be in New Orleans, and the crowd seemed to be much more alive, in tune and thrilled to see him. It's as if he and the crowd fed off each other's energy and it made for a terrific show.

Let's be real here: he's been gone for a long, long time and even though there are people who will love him no matter what, there is going to be a healthy dose of skepticism until the man shows he's ready to stick around a while. It's almost like seeing your dad show up at Christmas after not seeing him for years; you're happy he's there, you want him to stay, but events have conditioned you not to get too excited. Nonetheless, the love is there.

Mary closed the festivities, and for someone who likes Mary J. and has for a long time, even I was amazed by the power she has over her fan base. People chanted her name before she hit the stage, they stood on their feet through multiple numbers in her catalog and, as was the case with D'Angelo, the energy from her and the crowd was magical.

The crowd sang entire verses of her songs. Literally. She would just hold the mic out there and she didn't have to sing. Even with that, she still poured her all on the stage. That kind of vibe cannot be replicated. It was beautiful.

An emerging artist. One who is seeking to reclaim the trust of fans who love him to death, but may have one foot in the door and out due to his sabbaticals, and another who has come full-circle to enjoy the fruits of her constant labor. All were on display last night and all constructed narratives that were their own.

In life, we have similar moments and go down similar roads that the three artists I mentioned are traveling. I'm glad I was able to witness it all in person, for it was much more than just music. It was a look into my life, all of our lives, where we've been, where we're at and where each of us can head, respectively in our own journeys, if we're willing to stay the course.

9/4/12 @ 7:51 P.M.

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