One Hell of A Duo – Blaze and Black

By Petrice Douglasphotographer - JoBrea NealBlaze and Black – House of Blues September 2, 2016

We should have listened the first time when we heard about the fusion of sounds and cosmic energy hip hop duo Blaze and Black bring to the stage. All we have to say is, “they are one hell of a duo!”

The two along with band The Artthrobs layer r&b, pop, and hip hop to create a nice palatable sound that keeps you wanting more. The lyrical flare and high energy Black exudes across the stage is infectious while Blaze’s vocals help you feel every word.

More on Blaze and Black

Tamar (Smack Lips) Braxton

Tamar and JoBrea of K.B.C.C. Radio

Tamar and JoBrea of K.B.C.C. Radio

You may be wondering why I’m three days late putting up this review? Well, that ain’t yo bizness!

Here’s the business:

Yaass! Let’s start with that all the way turned up DJ Mister Rogers. He had the crowd going crazy no matter where you were from or when you were born. My new favorite deejay played requested music, gave shout outs, and mixed it all together just right while keeping up with Twitter requests.  I’m talkin’ from Al Green, Betty Wright, TPac, We Are Toonz, Biggie, Miley Cyrus, Drake, and Lorde. I honestly thought he was only going to mix a few minutes until an opening act came out, but it turned out he was the opening act. I was so happy, and if you were there you saw my happy dance.

The show was a sell out and had been sold out as early as April of this year. I cannot count how many disappointed people I saw at the ticket booth begging for a ticket. So a note to Tamar’s staff to book a larger venue the next time she comes to the H, cause we be in there (smack lips).

Now for all the Tamartians (smack lips), I don’t really need to tell you that she did her thang! Tamar opened with “She Did That” and was gettin’ down with the get down along with her dancers. Her set list was combined with relationship advice. If you are single, beware of the scallywags and those cool talkers who can talk the drawers off Jesus (smack lips). My heart smiled as she displayed her undeniable love for Vince and how he makes her feel like the “Prettiest Girl” in the world while video clips of the happy couple and others played in the background. The fun part of the night was when seven fans from the audience got a chance to get their shine on and sing “Love and War” on stage with Tamar to close the show. Not to crush anyone’s dream, but some of them may want to start dreaming about taking voice lessons (smack lips).

Set design – Rotating background stage that doubled as a video screen.

Band’s look – No band, but dancers. Two guys and two girls that were well in sync and never out shined each other. The guys did a nice “make me want to scream while I ask the Lord to forgive me for these ungodly thoughts” dance.

Sound – Sound system was a little choppy and off, but Tamar did not let it hold her back. Her vocals were powerful and passionate.

Side note – Tamar is real with the fans, and gave hugs to everyone that attended her sound check and meet and greet. She took time with them to let them know how much she appreciates their support and never rushed anyone along.

(Smack lips) I just had to do that one more time! True Tamartians understand, so you betta get in on this.

Electric Lady Electrofies The House of Blues

Janelle Monae

photo by Marc Baptise

Janelle Monae had the house all the way turned up, electrified, and funktified all at the same time. Leaving no doubt in the minds of anyone who thought this small sized beauty couldn’t hold her own. Though she came in peace, her music caused some rhythmic (and not so rhythmic from the looks of the guy dancing next to me) convulsions.

Set design – all black and white.

Band’s look – Musicians dressed in white lab jackets while her background vocalists dawned black and white striped 60’s styled tops with black legging.

Music/Sound/Sight – All the instruments were well blended. I did take issue with the lighting during some of the songs because they seemed like they were out of place from time to time, but that’s just me. Hell, those kind of things really don’t matter when the rest of your body is movin’ and groovin’. I will say that the electric guitar player was so freakin’ awesome that I wondered from time to time if he was that purple paisley man…….you know who I’m talking about. He put the jaaaaaaaaam in jaaaaaamin’ (that was not a typo!). Janelle’s vocals were powerful yet sweet and majestic. She stopped to diffuse a situation that was happening in front of the stage, and asked the parties involved to hug. They did, and the party kept on going. GIRL POWER ROCKS!!!

She did all of my favorites Cold War, Electric Lady, Tightrope, Dance Apocalyptic, Q.U.E.E.N, and more. I’m sorry for not listing her set, but I was jammin’ so don’t judge me.

Opening Act – Roman GianArthur. Another new force in the industry. He started out with a song that was a blend of Prince and James Brown, sprinkled in a cover of “Bag Lady”, and hit us with a seductive bassy tune called “I-69”.  The only downfall was him ending with a cover song. I would suggest ending with “I-69”; however, I honestly can’t wait to hear more from this guy.