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Fans endure rain for Budweiser Superfest

A loyal, soggy, sold-out crowd did its best to withstand the rain for Friday night’s Budweiser Superfest at Chastain Park.

With a solid lineup of soulful testosterone, there seemed to be four very good reasons to endure the almost constant patter of rain (and umbrellas blocking fans view of the stage) — Raheem Devuaghn, Jaheim, KEM and Anthony Hamilton. Somehow, Chastain and tour promoters were able to fit all four performances into three and a half hours. (See photos here.)

Devaughn, who opened the show, has a mighty arsenal of melodies that were cheated not just by the rain, but by the hurried evening. If you blinked or stopped to open your bottle of wine, it’s likely you missed the naughty “B.O.B” or the cover “Love & Happiness.” If you were lucky, you got the chance to jam with him on “I Don’t Care.” If you were not-so lucky, you got a close-up glimpse of a bare-chested Devaughn singing in the stands. Someone with his vocal talent doesn’t need to shed his shirt to woo the ladies. Maybe he was hot, or just wet.

Next up was Jaheim. The 32-year-old from New Jersey, who has a voice that roars like a brave but harmless lion, not only kept his shirt on, but looked pretty classy in his retro blue suit. But he, too, rushed through his short set, barely getting out new hits “I Ain’t Leaving Without You” and “Finding My Way Back.” And he, too, came out in the drizzle to serenade fans. His cover of “Close the Door, was a sweet tribute to soul legend Teddy Pendergrass,” who died earlier this year. No time to sing much from his four other albums, it was time for the next act.

But even the heavens seemed to know the night belonged to singer -songwriter Kem, whose voice courts you as his words of romance lure you to fall in love with love. The only time the pouring skies let up much was during his 45-minute set of mellow soul and smooth jazz.

KEM, whose new album “Intimacy” was released just this week, has a way of crafting songs about love in unexpected, yet familiar ways. On Friday night, he shared with fans “Intimacy’s” personal journal about love, trust and commitment with tunes such as “You’re on My Mind,” “Share My Life” and “Why Would You Stay,” sure to become an anthem on forgiveness.

WIth an Al Jarreau-like voice, sexy guitar and saxophone solos by band members, Kem brought a certain maturity to the evening — with the exception of his brief moment standing on top of the piano shaking his “small, but high and tight” behind to “Find Your Way.” His words, not mine.

From there, he launched into Part 1 of the Chastain revival, praising God as his doctor, lawyer, friend.

“He’s brought me through too much to not get up here and testify a little bit.” Amen.

Part 2 of the revival would come later from Anthony Hamilton. Interestingly, headliner Hamilton is the only artist on the bill who doesn’t have a brand new album. Maybe that explains why he came onstage singing Drake’s “I’m Doing Me,” with vocoder and all.

Fortunately, he quickly pushed the hip-hop to the side for his own jaunty “Fallin’ In Love” from 2008’s “The Point of It All” CD. And with familiar tunes like 2003’s “Charlene” and “Comin’ From Where I’m From” along with “Can’t Let Go” from 2005’s “Ain’t Nobody Worryin,’” he had more than enough to satisfy the anticipation of drenched fans, who by now were getting a new heavy downpour of rain.

That should have been Hamilton’s cue to tighten up and use his time on stage more efficiently. Instead, he seem somewhat committed to doing the church-revival jam session complete with tambourines and foot stomping to “I don’t know what you came to do…” At other times, he didn’t seem to know what to sing next, with long pauses as he checked on the drenched crowd.

After he finally sang “Cool,” a relaxing tune that polishes Hamilton’s popular gritty soul sound, it was time to call it a night. Any other time, the crowd would have been begging for more. But there no protests or calls from dripping fans for an encore.

With that said, the appeal of this Budweiser tour is certainly the vocal strength of all four artists. Hopefully as the tour continues, they’ll figure out a way to aptly showcase each of the talented musicians

7 comments Add your comment

Trish

August 22nd, 2010
11:32 pm

After 2 weeks of anticipation and excitement about the upcoming Budweiser SuperFest, I didnt get to stay and enjoy the show because of the RAIN. VERY DISAPPOINTING!

Courtney

August 23rd, 2010
10:58 am

I was there as well and the rain just didn’t allow you to fully enjoy the show. Even getting out the food and drinks was a problem. I felt sorry for all the women wearing those cute sundresses and heals. Glad I had on flats and jeans. Would go to see the artists again. Kem and Anthony were great!!!

PT

August 23rd, 2010
6:12 pm

I was there and I will not return to Chastain. Each performance was rushed and they packed us in that venue like sardines. I have never been so uncomfortable. They put tables all over the place and more than usual. It was very tight, wet, and extremely humid. I stood on the steps the entire time just to have a little room to bob my head to the music. We missed Raheem Davaughn due to the traffic. The traffic is horrible getting into that community whether it’s rain or shine for sold out shows. Why would Budweiser Superfest have such a great show at Chastain. Plillips arena would have been much better. NEVER AGAIN TO CHASTAIN!!!!!!!

DB

August 25th, 2010
5:25 pm

I don’t know what all the fuss is, it was my bday celebration and I thoroughly enjoyed it just like the tic says rain or shine! Yeah they did pack us in and yeah all of that dark chocolate should not have been rushed but when life gives you rain put on your fab boots and keep it moving. Yes we got wet but me and 10 of my bffs ate, drank, laughed and were very very merry. I got a extra lil treat hehehehe, Raheem gave me an up close and personal bump and grind!!! Happy bday to me I truly enjoyed Chocolates Sprinkles in the ATL! Great job guys and thx Raheeeeeemmmmmmm!

Pissed

August 27th, 2010
9:49 am

I was so excited to have date night with my hubby. With the kids all packed up and off to “Momo’s” we got all dolled up (despite the thunderstorm). We arrived at Chastain around 7:25 and it was JAM PACKED. We drove around until 9:45 trying to find a park, NO LUCK!! The parking attendent had the audacity to tell us “Ya’ll Late”. I could care less! I paid $100 each for my tickets and you have the nerve to imply that parking is on a “first come first serve basis”!

Nevertheless, we didn’t hear 1 note and we won’t be reimburesed 1 cent! We ended up making it a blockbuster night and to top it of the movie we rented SUCKED!!!

Idalis

September 8th, 2010
2:25 pm

To Pissed — I’m just reading this blog and although its very late, just had to post to let you know I feel your pain. You definitely deserve a consolation prize and Chastain should give it to you!!

Cookie

September 9th, 2010
4:52 pm

I was very disappointed. The tables and chairs was so close that you could not move. Chastain should do something for everyone who was there in all of that rain.