Jesse Boykins III, PJ Morton, Eric Roberson & HOST Dwele
Nikki Marina (Ft Lauderdale, FL)
First, we'll begin with my man, James Bing, and his birthday weekend that he asked me to provide the soundtrack for (Thanks for the love and the opportunity). Saturday's event was a concert at Nikki Marina that included some of James's favorite artists: Eric Roberson, Jesse Boykins III & PJ Morton all hosted by Dwele.
First Act: Jesse Boykins III
I heard his first project, Dopamine, and became an immediate fan. His live performance, thankfully, does not disappoint as well. Not only does he sound good live, he also posseses showmanship and keeps the crowd in his pocket. Be on the lookout for his new album, The Beauty Created, that drops today.
Second Act: PJ Morton
Luckily, I witnessed PJ in action before. Otherwise I would have NOT BEEN READY like most of the people in attendance. Truly a performer that transcends the neo soul label that is placed on him, PJ Morton gives the audience an experience in African American music; taking you on a journey from gospel to hip hop and beyond.
Third Act: Eric Roberson
If you haven't seen Eric Roberson live, you don't know what you're missing! A consumate showman, he controls the crowd with ease, creating a bond that makes his perforance all the more enjoyable. He also did his infamous freestyle set, taking words (and a phrase) from the crowd and creating a song on the spot, which was incredible. Even more exciting during his set, was the duet with Dwele of the Eric Roberson penned, "Hold On."
Opening Act: Jazmine Sullivan
I didn't really get into her until her 3rd song, "Lions, Tigers & Bears," and she even opened with one of her current singles, "Bust Your Windows." She sounds good but watching her performance is like watching a public speaker that makes too many hand and arm gestures while speaking. Don't get me wrong, she's enjoyable but needs to trim the fat on the performance aspect of her show.
The Feature: Maxwell
Although he hasn't released a studio album in 7 years, the man has not lost a step. It's as if he spent those 7 years working on his stage show. He spent the majority of the show jumping around like an effusive Capoeirista that also studied Prince and James Brown. He still sounds good and the two new songs he debuted (Pretty Wings and Bad Habits) don't show a departure from the sound that we've grown to love from Maxwell. Highlights of the night (for me) were:
1.The remix of "Sumthin, Sumthin" with The Ohio Player's "Ecstasy"
2. The intimate acoustic encore performance of "Whenever, Wherever, Whatever"
3, The many apologies for cancelling his Bham date many years ago
4. His version of Al Green's "Simply Beautiful"
He says his album will drop some time around Valentine's Day next year...we've heard that one before BUT he bought himself some time with me on that (if it doesn't happen) with his live show. Check him out if he's coming to your city
DECEMBER 10, 2008: LATTE LOUNGE