Concert Review: Patti LaBelle & Commodores

Right outside of the city of Chicago, Ravinia, is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States. The Festival is a series of outdoor concerts and performances held every summer from June to September.

(Unedited) So, my mama, the bearthday gyrl, (above pic) experienced Ravinia for the first time, and she can dig it! On the train home, she looked at the festival schedule, and asked, “When is the next show?” Um, Ms. Mama, you bets get yo crew together and handle that. She is hooked now. Lol lol lol. Beyond the concert she enjoyed people watching and seeing all the “set ups”…she was amused with how folks go all out on the lawn with the decorations, tables, chairs, candles, wine, full out feasts and spreads…And how they haul all this stuff out there on carts and flatbeds via train or car.

As for the actual concert: The Commodores opened. It just ain’t right hearing someone other than Lionel Richie singing “Easy,” “Three Times a Lady” and other songs. I need his Tuskegee twang. But I will say, James Dean “J.D.” Nicholas tries and he puts in work. Um yeah, though, still weird to me without Lionel Richie.

I spent much of their set cracking up cos all that gyration and hip moving on men who remind me of my great uncles and grandfathers and it tickles me. Lol lol lol. And, I kept imagining going to a rap concert when I’m 60 years old and screaming for Black Thought or Nas or whomeva…Hilariousness!

Patti LaBelleAs for Patti Patti, it wasn’t a perfect set. Like, what happened btwn sound check and the show? The sound was off in the beginning. But I didn’t need for it to be perfect! It was authentic. It was a team effort. Her band and background singers held her down. It was nice to just sit and listen and feel and sing along. Even on her worse day, she’s a “bad” womon and a class act.

She was clearly a lil under the weather, but she looked damn good! Mama Patti told us at the onset that she was going to take it slow—and that, she did. She did the hits. But what she also did were covers.

Patti L. She sang her face off on Harold Melvin’s, Blue Notes, If you don’t know me by now,” Sam Smith’s, “Stay” and a Michael McDonald song. She snapped on “If You Don’t Know Me Now.” The shoes came off here and her ad libbing was hilarious. Of course she threw in a comment about Patti pies.

Patti’s band though. Hellz yeah, they were in beast mode. It was something about their smoothness and “groove” that reminded me of E.Badu’s band. I sooooo enjoyed them and their solos.

Finally, her background singers could sang! But that one sista with the close blonde hair cut, who came straight from the church-house sanging and had a growl outta this world, and her grit, my Gawd!

Oh, lastly for real real, Sam Smith’s, “Stay” became praise and worship and I thought we were gone have altar call.

Leaving the park I saw one of my favorite teachers from high school, Mama C. I knew she was gone cuss me out, but she’ll never use profanity, but she definitely got at me for not coming to see her. I absolutely love this womon, and she helped make me the womon and cultural worker I am today. Here’s the thing, she can see right through me quickly getting underneath my b.s., and whenever I see her I become a teenager again. I get all like I’ve been caught kissing a boy or something. She says to me, “I hope you come to my funeral….” Tha world? Don’t be saying that especially in unrelenting 2016. In the month of July I will be definitely be going to sit at her feet, be fed, get loved on and mentored.


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