Ledisi came to entertain, and so she did.
From the moment she stepped on stage in her black blouse and hot pants Friday night at Symphony Hall, the songstress bopped around the stage dancing as if she were alone in her living room.
With a shout out to music icon Michael Jackson, Ledisi asked the quiet audience to get up, move and return the energy she was exuding. She scolded folks for tweeting, saying she could see their faces from their cellphone lights.
“It’s so rude,” the singer said. “But it’s cool, as long as you’re tweeting about me.”
Even with constant audience interaction, it wasn’t until the second wardrobe change that fans began to respond.
Ear-numbing screams and a standing ovation greeted the singer before she even began to sing “In the Morning,” which she blended with “I Gotta Get to You.” Opening act Timothy Bloom, an R&B newcomer with a Prince-like vibe, joined her on the duo “Stay Together.”
A cape-clad Ledisi even performed the part of Peaches from the Nina Simone song “Four Women” on BET’s Black Girls Rock. It wasn’t long until she ripped that off to reveal a tight white-sequined cocktail dress, and then went right into her hit and the title track of her latest album “Pieces of Me.”
Going into her upbeat and inspiring song “It’s Alright,” she explained how the song came about. Ledisi had given up after being told she wasn’t pretty enough, needed to lose weight and needed a different hairstyle. The singer called her mother to say that she was done trying to make it in the music industry and would simply help someone else make it.
Her motherencouraged her to stay steadfast on her path. She told her “it’ll be alright.” It sounded like a song to Ledisi.
From that lesson, she offered three pieces of advice to Atlanta fans: 1. Find your authentic self and calling; 2. Love yourself first; 3. Be careful of who and what you allow in your personal space. “Not everyone you meet means you good.”
After the scat session that sounded like a vocal game of Twister, it’s easy to see why Ledisi has been up for a Grammy four times. For an encore, the songstress responded with “Shut Up” – just in case any haters where in the audience.