Concert: Alicia Keys

Ok so I went to the Alicia Keys concert not as a fan but as a curious person. She’s one of those artists who, as they police label is “a person of interest.” I’m not sure if I like her. Or if I don’t. So…only one way to find out.

I wanted to see what she could do. Who she is. What’s her deal. And I was walked away astonished.

Smart, sexy, spiritual, sensual the woman has a rock solid set of pipes. My goodness. So glad I had a tea with me. Her smile alone was well worth the price of admission.

While some of her hits like No One and You Don’t Know My Name (sadly missing the “you always order the hot chocolate” rap in the middle) work extremely well in the big bombastic setting of the ACC it’s the gentler moments where her talent dazzles.

Prompted by a piano with the message PLAY ME scrolling across its body like a stock ticker in Times Square she sat down to play soothing ballads like Like You’ll Never See Me Again. (I can do without the sentimentality of that tune but the music is pure magic and made for tea).

Closing the show was a special highlight as she performed Empire State of Mind II. 3 of the screens behind her displayed images of NYC, old school images, current images while the other 3 echoed one word: first HOPE…then PEACE…LOVE…FAITH. Indeed. S’my ongoing relationship with NYC in one staggering montage. I got wrecked and hit to sit down.

Other fun moments was during her introduction to Superwoman she asked the audience: “Where are all my Superwomen at?” One guy in the row over from us got up and woooooo-ed! And then still standing proceeded to belt out every word along with with every other woman in the building. You go…err, girl.

Oh and during a costume change Keys’ backup singers launched into a resounding rendition of Feeling Good. Now after Nina nobody’s been able to deal with that song (I’m looking right at you Buble) but it was a fine and noble effort.

I didn’t understand all the political/revolutionary imagery especially during songs like Fallin. Anybody out there can explain that?

Still all that aside it was a wonderful and warm time. Jo and I left happy and drained.

I’d go again. Between this and her staggering performance on Def Poetry I’m slowly moving into becoming a fan.


Also published on Medium.

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