NuSoul Revival Tour
by D Andre Stewart
New York City was undoubtedly warmer than we’d traditionally expect by this time of the year & in
more ways than one last night – as the Coco-Cola Concert Series “Nu Revival Tour” brought that live
HEAT to New York City & The Beacon Theater!
The bar of expectation was set high from the START – as the night’s session kicked off with none other than FE+ (“Foreign Exchange”). There were quite a few surprised faces as I panned the overall vibes of the audience as the ever-lovely Carmen Rodgers effortlessly vibed with “Phontigallo” (I giggled below my breathe – looking intently at the crowd’s reaction & interaction. “What? Y’all didn’t KNOW?? Our FE team has fun but they DON’T play around with their craft)!
Their set was soon followed by none other than my absolute fave duo contemporaries, “Kindred The
Family Soul”. As many of you already know, their latest offering “Legacy Of Love” made our “NSC’s Best Albums Of 2016” recommendations list. To have heard the studio album was unforgettable as it is – however, as a long-time supporter of this group, it wasn’t until having seen their energy LIVE did I realize just how important their voices & lyrics are crucial to our well being…ESPECIALLY in these current times. From “Welcome To My World” to the classics of “Far Away” & Stars”, they truly brought with them some HEALING powers – channeled through the gift of song!
We were then soon taken back to 2004 – the “Lyfe” of “268-192” and far beyond. Jennings seamlessly
amped the crowd – the very instant he glided onto the stage. Ever mindful of his relative time constraint, he gave his ALL during his set & the kept the crowd consumed by his every note… that brutha’ was “SANGIN’!!”
Then, as if to be served as the perfect nightcap to the evening, one of the most humble, gifted artists from the city of “Brotherly Love” came through to give just that – LOVE. I have seen Musiq perform in the years past & I’ll tell you this now – Do NOT go to his shows with the set expectation that the “Musiq” you knew before is still towing the line, singing along the cords and flashing a smile. Soulchild took on a commanding presence on stage from the very instant he’d stepped on it and he NEVER let it go!
All the while, he had segments during his set where he was quick to dispel the rumors that he “cookie cut” sings. Musiq has been through some tribulations in both his personal & professional life as an artist. He has just poured his pain, his optimism & his dreams into a vocal outpour that left the Beacon
in continuous uproars!
“Nah man – I’m tired of singing like before… no more!” he laughed as we’d rapped after his stage exit about how he made sure that he did his part to become a point of reference to an already fantastic show. It was great to see Musiq back in his element again but quite the different man from the one I’d met so many years ago in “Sounds Of Brazil” in 2005 (Dwele’s “Some Kinda” listening party).
Thank you to ALL of the artists & their teams for having come through to bless us with with the energy of your music. Even Mother Nature herself had to fall back to allow us to enjoy this wonderful evening!
*Special shout to “Lisa G.” of the Nu-Revival team, fellow NSC alums – the amazing Icey Akins & Ed D. Cheebz, Lorenzo Ferguson, Phonte Coleman, Carmen Rodgers, Nicolay Rooks, Aimee Flint, Aja & Fatin (of “Kindred”), Lyfe Jennings, “Mr. Musiq”, the amazing band members & staff/crew for vibing on an amazing night in Gotham!*
Photo Credit: Derek R. Todd