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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Alicia Keys mixes old, new at Philips

By MICHELLE SHAW

Alicia Keys sent thousands of Atlantans home in an Empire State of mind Tuesday night.

With images of Grand Central Station flashing above her head, Keys belted out “Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down” as the last of 17 songs she performed during her nearly two-hour Element of Freedom Tour stop at Phillips Arena.

With few disruptions, Keys put on an entertaining and educational show, using massive LED boards hanging above her to show images relating to her music. She even used the interlude between “Secrets” and “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” to promote her African missions effort “Keep a Child Alive.”

She entertained the crowd with old and new music and spent a notable amount of time at a black baby grand piano, also outfitted with LED technology.
Keys played a number of instruments during the show, but also worked the stage and engaged her fans.

The crowd as a whole appeared to be lukewarm, but the people on the floor of the arena seemed to radiate energy. Keys also at times seemed to be losing her voice, but that didn’t stop her from giving her fans “Fallin’,” her third song of the night and “Superwoman” and “If I Ain’t Got You,” toward the end of the night.

Her finish was definitely stronger than her start and her mix of old and new material left fans pleased with the show.
Opening for Keys was Melanie Fiona, who performed as if she had a full house – but didn’t – and Robin Thicke, whose falsetto wasn’t always working for him.

Fiona gave the gathering crowd all she had, including her radio hits “It Kills Me” and “Give it to Me Right.”

Thicke, on the other hand, had several devoted female fans, but his voice betrayed him a time or two during his set of eight songs. The opening notes to “Lost Without You” certainly didn’t come off as planned.

“Oh, I just cracked,” Thicke told the crowd. “Did y’all hear that? That was gross.”

He made it through the rest of the song, which was his last, without incident.

See the photo gallery from the show.

5 comments Add your comment

Leslie

March 31st, 2010
11:15 am

I enjoyed the Alicia’s show. However, it was not near as good as a few years ago when she opened for Beyonce and didn’t have all the production. She’s at her best when it’s just her and the piano showing off her awesome talent. Turn down the base & the production, Alicia!

Marina

March 31st, 2010
12:26 pm

I agree with you Leslie. I saw her back in May of 2008 when she toured with Neyo and she was AMAZING! hit all the right notes, there wasn’t much flare, pomp and circumstance but you left feeling.. WOW.. that might easily be the best concert I have been to! She showed off her vocals and spent quite a bit of time on two piano’s ..was very engaging and sincere about her performance. This time, it felt like she was just going through the motions and that is why the crowd was very lukewarm. This is the first time that I sat down on my chair from start to finish. I actually preferred her background singers! they were phenomenal! All in all, I will continue to support her music because I think that she is a gifted artist.. but I don’t think I will be returning to see her on the road.

jo

March 31st, 2010
4:26 pm

Alicia didn’t open for Beyonce, they shared the same bill – big difference. Neither did she tour with Neyo, Neyo tour and opened for Alicia. Alicia is a brilliant and fantastic artist. Some artists can get the audience up on the their feet, but some can silence them with their artistry. Alicia possess both of these qualities. Continue to shine your light Alicia around the country. You can sit and just play the piano and wow the audience when you are old and gray. But you are young and full of energy, so continue to shine with your big show. I loved it! A++++++

Mee

March 31st, 2010
9:25 pm

It was a good concert, but Alicia’s background singers were AWESOME! I hope we hear more from them soon.

Pinot

April 3rd, 2010
8:41 am

I previously sawn Alicia a few years ago and was blown away by her talent. The show at that time was more simple and more about her talent and was the best concert I had ever been too. I did not get that same feeling at this show. First, it was waaayyy to loud. Not sure if it was the base or what but I was struggling to hear her vocals through all the noise. Perhaps that was done because she was losing her voice I don’t know. I felt that this was more of a flashy “show” and not a “performance” which left me a little disappointed as I don’t believe Alicia needs to be flashy and loud. She can hold her own without all of the other stuff. Finally, the request for us to text a donation to her charity was a little awkward. I was there to see her perform…if I wanted to be solicited, I could stay at home and watch TV. I am all for supporting charities, but I don’t think that was the venue for her to promote it. Something more subtle would have been better. Perhaps she could have said a portion of her proceeds from tshirt sales supports her charity….something like that. I still love Alicia…she is definately gifted!