The bonafide Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, proved why her majesty still sits on the throne, during her concert at the UCF-CFE Arena on Saturday, November 7th in Orlando, Fl. Her tour date in Orlando, was just one of her scheduled 12 city tour dates, of her London Sessions World Tour across the U.S. If you’ve never seen her perform live, and want to see how a veteran performer gets it done, then this concert is a must see!
Tamar Braxton joined her for this concert date, as she’s opening for Mary J. on 4 of her tour dates in Georgia and Florida. While she is also a great voice in R&B, and gave a lively and quick rendition of some of the hits from her debut and upcoming albums, the minute MJB hit the stage there was no doubt who the headliner was. Starting off with her ladies anthem “Fine,” Mary J marched down the stairs of her set, and had everyone (men included) immediately on their feet. For almost the next 2 hours, she belted out hit, after hit, after hit from her 13 album catalogue; including her new single “Whole Damn Year,” from her latest release, The London Sessions.
Ms. Blige had no pyrotechnics, no background dancers, no props on stage, no reverb in the mic or the tracks playing along with her vocals…and none of it was needed. With her amazing full band, background singers (with some of the best voices you’ve ever heard) and a mic in her hand, she rocked and wooed the crowd at every moment. Her voice as solid, strong and some would say even stronger- than her younger years.
The crowd stood at attention for most of her set as she sang signature hits like “Real Love” from her debut album from What’s The 411? Then she took us back to 1994, so we could experience My Life again, with her hits “Be Happy,” and “I’m Going Down.” In fact for both of these songs, she held the mic to the audience, who proudly and loudly sang every word; verbatim. One of her most riveting performances for the night was “No Drama,” in which she shared her life’s testimony with the audience before beginning, then left it all on the stage. If anyone in the audience didn’t feel anything else up to that point of her set, they couldn’t help but feel the power and soul of her voice, in that performance.
After taking us into a musical time machine, that we all wished we could stay in forever, she ended the night on a fun high note with her Dr. Dre produced party banger, “Dance For Me.” With the exception of scaring the crowd a few times, by exiting for an outfit change and all the lights shutting down on stage (which caused a few concert goers to start exiting the building), Mary J. Blige did not disappoint. If you are a true Mary J. fan, you would have been proud and elated to witness her performance. Now, if you’re a young up and coming R&B singer however; you better beware… ‘cause Mary’s back!
Written By: Shani Lodge, ShaniSpeaksNow, LLC.