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Sexy Soul Tour filled with tricks and treats

Atlanta was the second stop on the 16 city “Sexy Soul” tour featuring Eric Benet, with Mint Condition and Ledisi. It was Saturday night at the Fox Theatre and it was Halloween, which meant at least one couple showed up in costume (he was a pimp, she was something in red). The show, which runs in other cities through December, was an interesting mix of Tricks and Treats.

Trick: Surprise! Ledisi took the stage first. I expected to see Mint Condition, if for no other reason than Ledisi has received more critical acclaim (more on this later). The energetic singer performed songs from her new album “Turn Me Loose,” kicking things off with “Knockin” before moving into her personal favorite and title song “Turn Me Loose.”

Treat: Ledisi fans that are familiar with her first two albums and have accepted her classification as a jazz singer will hear remarkable growth. She’s evolving as an artist and her range can’t be denied. Performance wise, watching her do a James Brown shuffle across the stage was one of the highlights of the evening. She wrapped things up with her 2007 hit “In The Morning.”

Treat: Anyone who has followed Mint Condition over the past 20 years has either referred to them or heard them referred to as “the most underrated band in R&B.” It is true this group of old school musicians (minus keyboardist Keri Lewis who moved on), never seems to have gotten their due, so seeing them perform is always a treat, as was their Michael Jackson tribute (“Heartbreak Hotel” – love that song).

Trick: In addition the new-ish “Nothing Left to Say,” Mint Condition performed old favorites including “You Send Me Swinging” and “So Fine,” saving the hits “What Kind of Man Would I Be” and “Pretty Brown Eyes,” for last. But this was the SEXY soul tour, and how could a group known for their ballads NOT hit us with their very best ones? “Forever In Your Eyes,” “You Don’t Have To Hurt No More,” and “If You Love Me,” were all missing from the lineup. That was a seriously cruel trick.

Treat: Eric Benet in jeans, blazer, black vest and shades is treat enough given the ear-splitting screams from the double X chromosomes in the audience. But he really brought them to their feet with “Chocolate Legs,” from his new album “Love & Life”. He said the song was about escaping from the crazy world, his way of getting (ahem) “recharged.” The performance left one very excited audience member yelling “Godiva!” at the top of her lungs. Really.

Trick: Benet claims he doesn’t know a lick of Spanish, but he could have tricked us into calling him Papi with his performance of “Spanish Fly,” a Latin-esque groove from his new album. After “I Wanna Be Loved” and “Spend My Life With You,” Benet came back with an encore performance of “Georgy Porgy.” But wait! It was only 11:00 pm. He didn’t start until 10:30 p.m. Was it really over so soon?

In the end “Sexy Soul” was 3 for 3 in Tricks and Treats. Maybe Ledisi summed it up best during her set. “You can’t please everybody, but you do your best,” she said.

3 comments Add your comment

Gary B.

November 2nd, 2009
2:46 am

I was at the show, sitting in the very first row actually, and let me say that Ledisi was the best act of the 3 ( in my opinion). Her Set was very high energy , and she blazed through as many songs as she could get to in her set, which lasted about an hour. Her band was amazing ! She had a 9 piece band , with Bass, drums, guitar, 2 keyboards, 2 horns, and 2 back up singers, …the band was smoking hot…they jammed !!!! Ledisi is an incredible singer and performer, and her energy and vibe just jumps out at you from the stage !

Mint Condition had a nice set to….They had 2 keyboard players, a drummer, guitar player, bass player, and stokley on lead vocals. One of the key board players also played sax on one tune, and Stokley played drums on one song and also guitar on one song. They sounded really good, and had a really edgy sound. Stokley did a great job, and really put on a good performance also.

Eric Benet , as the “Headliner” and last perfomer of the night, was a let down for me. First of all, most of his songs are pretty mellow and slow….plus he was only using a 3 piece band ? What the F___ ? Just Bass, Drums, and Keyboard….the band sounded pretty flat in my opinion…I was not feeling the band at all….it almost sounded like Eric was singing to tracks. Granted, Eric has a great voice, but with all those slow and mellow songs, he should have been the first act to perform……Ledisi and Mint Condition were the hot sets of the night…just my 2 cents ! …..Gary B.

Boogers for the Children

November 2nd, 2009
8:49 am

Lez-disi, Vomint Condition, Erika Get Bent. 3 losers bands with loser fans.

Next time dont waste you money just tune in for Gayree B and his commentary. He is so Shmarut.

I have a Booger to pick with you

November 2nd, 2009
9:21 am

Waste, waste, waste of time. These bands are devoid of any musical talent whatsoever. Rather to hear the neighborhood alley cat screaming from being in heat than listen to these untalented booger eaters.

And I had the extreme misfortune of being conned into attending this debacle. IT WAS AWFUL!! Thought it would never be over and lucky for me I forgot my razozblades as had they been available it would have been a Freddy Kruger-esk suicide attempt. Anything to have gotten me away from these idiots jumping around like 3rd graders on a sugar high.

What a pitiful showing and a dismal night. Never again.

PS…The majority of the time I kept noticing band members w/fingers crammed knuckle deep in their nostrils. Guess they missed dinner.