Much ado has been made about the price of Maxwell tickets – and rightfully so! In this economy, there are plenty of other things a somewhat fiscally responsible person like myself could have done with that hundred some odd dollars I paid for my 5th row seat.
Maxie, if paying an arm and a leg for your love if loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!
I can’t imagine what it must be like to have been away for so long and welcomed back as if you had never left. Folks are fickle. They forget. But it’s virtually impossible to forget a man like Maxwell.
Believe it or not, this was my first time ever seeing him live. When he was last touring, I had yet to become the ultimate concert enthusiast I am today. Can you imagine there was ever such a time for someone who will have attended forty concerts by year’s end and has over 550 videos on the YouTube channel? Me either.
However, before we get into my account of the Maxwell Experience, let’s briefly talk about the opening act, Miss Jazmine Sullivan. As you know, I wasn’t overwhelmed by her album but was hoping to feel differently after seeing her live.
Let me first say, the girl can sang. No doubt about that. No studio voice here. However, I was underwhelmed by her stage show. The band overpowered her voice, which as you can imagine is hard to do. At times, she sounded strained, no doubt because of the hectic touring schedule. She has not yet mastered dancing and singing and should move a little less to avoid sounding out of breath.
Overall, I wasn’t as disappointed as some music connoisseurs with her performance. She blew me away with the song that got her signed “In Love With Another Man.” However, I can’t wait to see how she grows over her career. Some things are still a little rough around the edges, but this girl has got talent. I’m already looking forward to her sophomore effort.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
I was not prepared for the way Landmark Theatre in Richmond, VA erupted when the first chords of “Get To Know Ya” filled the large auditorium – before the curtain even went up. When it did, I was thoroughly impressed with the beauty of the simple set and the band who was dressed to the nines. There was no t-shirt and sneaks to be found. Momma Viv, a stickler for such things, would have been proud.
As you’ll see, there was no need for Maxwell to “Get To Know Ya.” He was already intimately acquainted with each and every screaming female in the sold out theatre. Of course the fellas played it cool. They were just watching the clock, waiting for dude to set them up for the night so they could get home and reap the benefits.
From there, he went into the very apropos “No One.”
I try to forget ya but you’re all I wanna do
I can do better but there’s no one quite like you
Though I love Maxie’s uptempo songs where he gets to swivel them hips as few men can, the joint that earned him a coveted spot on my top fifty songs listis “Til the Cops Come Knocking.” My second favorite is “Sumthin Sumthin (Mellosmoothe).” Obviously, it’s his drop-your-granny-panties ballads that do it for me. So I was more than ready for what Eric Roberson likes to call, “the sexy part of the show.”
He warmed us up with the sentimental sweetness that is “Lifetime.”
Then the lights went down.
It was all I could do to hold it together. It was almost like a spiritual thang hearing him sing “This Woman’s Work,” which always makes me think about the tender love scene in one of my all time favorite movies, “Love and Basketball.” That falsetto sounded oh so sweet. I was no more good once he got down on his knees. The performance earned him his sole pair of granny panties, tossed upon the stage by an actual Granny!
Richmond must be a conservative city because I surely expected more to be thrown after his performance of “Everwanting (To Want You To Want).” Against a beautiful red and green backdrop, he got down on the floor and showed the men how they need to work the middle showed the ladies just how he works those hips offstage. It was a beautiful thing.
At this point, I almost got into an altercation with the stinky breath security guard who shut me down and commanded that I stop recording. You KNOW I don’t take too kindly to that. As much as I paid for that ticket, I should have received a professionally recorded DVD of the whole show immediately afterwards! In any event, I obeyed orders for the time being.
So I was forced to just sit and watch him perform:
- W/As My Girl
- Pretty Wings
- Simply Beautiful (Oh how I love seeing him perform this up close and personal. He KILLS this song.)
- Fortunate (I was in agony at not being able to capture this)
- Help Somebody (Obama-inspired song) (I’m just bitter at this point)
- Til The Cops Come Knockin
Sorry, toy cop. I had to bring the camera back out and at least get the audio. I had been warned by a fellow Twitizen that that his performance of my favorite. Maxwell. song. ever was absolutely orgasmic. By the time he was done, my leg was actually shaking and I was reaching for shit that wasn’t even there. His band is outstanding, simply top notch.
He pretended to bid us adieu and we mock screamed bloody murder until he came back out and performed “Acension (Don’t Ever Wonder).”
He bid us adieu again. We needed more! more! more!
He blessed us with a performance of “Whenever Wherever Whatever.” Another spiritual experience. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him the entire time. I think you’ll agree.
Yessir. I’m the REAL maverick.
As you can see, much like a Jill Scott show, it wasn’t just a concert, it was an experience. Maxwell is the consummate performer. He doesn’t just sing, he entertains. He commands the entire stage and performs in front of a sold out crowd like it’s an intimate performance for fifty.
When he cracks jokes like these, he becomes someone you can envision just hanging out and tripping with.
“Women, ya’ll looking all crispy (Viv: don’t ask). Ya’ll all lotioned up. All Vaseline Intensive Cared up.”
“I’m talking to all the cornfed, cornbread eating women. The collard green and fried chicken eating sistas.”
“Fellas, I’m setting you up for tonight. You’re gonna get some tonight!”
Oh how he reminds me of Jill in that way. Hmm…now wouldn’t that be a super concert? I’m putting that energy out there in the musical atmosphere. He says he’s touring again next year. Hey, you never know!
Maxwell is here in DC for the next couple of nights before heading up to Baltimore, New Jersey, and finally back home to NYC where it all started. From the comments I’ve been getting on these videos, I think we all agree that those of us who have seen him on this tour are “fortunate” indeed.
*Okay, okay. I know the hair is gone! So sue me. I miss it!