I gotta tell y’all, the Erykah Badu concert experience was truly, truly remarkable. I’d planned to do a whole giant review, but I think Rich from Four Four, and the amigo Jonathan Cunningham both reviewed it so eloquently, I didn’t think I could add much more. They captured every nuance.
I’ll say this — I echo Jonathan’s sentiment completely — I wish The Roots played longer. We arrived during Proceed, and more than half of the amphitheater was still empty.
They did a sick medley of covers, ranging from Kool and the Gang’s Jungle Boogie to Mims’ This is Why I’m Hot. I have some video, and I’ll try to upload it (if it’s good enough). It was over too soon. And also I gotta add, Black Thought is a surprisingly good singer! He busted out some Teddy Pendergrass stylee, I was feeling it. LOL. Also, I love the theatrics of the phenomenally talented Captain Kirk Douglas, but I know I wasn’t the only one who wished Erykah had joined them on “You Got Me.” Just because. I mean, c’mon. She’s right there backstage!
Erykah opened so strong — strutting and voguing on a mirrored stage, she and her backup singers really put on a compelling, stunning show. Of her newest material, The Healer was a highlight, and Soldier is my new favorite song. She held the audience in the palm of her hand for that one. It’s set to be her next single, and it’s already a bona fide classic. Here’s the VH1 Soul performance, if you haven’t yet got a copy of New Amerykah Vol. 1.
Her overall performance was dynamic, striking, moody, complex, and yes — interpretive. She’s an inspiration, a creative dervish, a true icon. There was a definite lag in crowd energy during some of her slower songs — I was shocked at how many people left well before the encore. But she did play a two-hour set, and it was a school night. If you’re an Erykah fan who’s on the fence and wondering if you should shell out the bucks to see this show, I’d say go for it. Erykah’s Vortex is an experience worth having, and you get your money’s worth. You’ll leave feeling rebooted, refreshed, and restarted.