Ms. Leela James came to town to play a small venue and the tickets were around $20. I decided that it was beyond what I could squeeze in the budget so image my delight when I received an email with a 2 for 1 coupon for her concert the day of the show! $10 to see Ms. James and $8 for parking meant a great show for less than $20. I grabbed my co-worker/girlfriend and off to the show we went!
I first heard of Ms. James on the B-sides of a popular radio show years ago and I thought she was more popular until we went to a favorite hang out spot after the concert and people were like "who?" Sometimes I want to scream at people "there are more stations than the one you keep your radio on, try Internet radio or Pandora!" (wooosaw!!)
Back to what I was saying...
Heston opened for her and I must admit I was distracted by his gorgeous percussionist. So much so that I asked the very nice lady next to me to take a picture and send it to me (enjoy the photo to the right). But the highlight was definitely Ms. James.
She came out to Rick James' Give it to me Baby and her full brass section made it sound better than the original. Rockin' her 3 inch boots and fantabulous (fantastic and fabulous) fro she worked that stage for over an hour. Considering I was standing in the front row, I laughed, danced and sang with Ms. James the entire time. She takes control of that stage and works it like no one else.
Here is a short clip of the Rick James cover:
We cracked up when she said she doesn't like boogie people in her audience, and started picking people out telling them to wipe that frown off their face 'cause she could see them. Why you think she squintin'? LOL!
If you ever get the chance to check her out, I would highly recommend you do so. Hopefully, you can get an intimate venue like I did. That was the best concert I have been to in a long time. Nothing like hearing my anthem "My Joy" in person. I tried to capture it on my phone, but I'm sure I got more of the off-key audience than of her. But when she picked people out the audience to join her on stage to "have a party" and step, it was the funniest thing I've seen in a minute.
She performed a lot from her new album of covers of classic R&B hits, but she does them like no one else. Ms. James works a stage like I haven't seen since the younger days of Patti LaBelle.
She enjoys what she does and my how it shows. And for my hair people out there, I have a new hair idol. When I grow up I'm going to have a fro that big :)
Not sure how much of this you can make out (the ladies behind me were singing LOUD), but this lady ROCKS on stage. My apologies...I forgot I flipped my phone to get her background singers so my video turns sideways. Will flip it when I figure out how. LOL!
Peace & Blessings...