Review Throat Problems Dont Stop Frankie Beverly
CONCORD, Calif. Frankie Beverly and Maze sang every song from start to finish, and that alone would have made Sunday's performance at the Chronicle Pavilion which also featured Kevon Edmonds , K-Ci & JoJo and Gerald Levert a good show.
Many performers ruin the climactic moment of their performance by giving the microphone to the audience when they sing their most famous hit even though the audience paid or more to hear them sing it.
As Beverly sang such favorites as 'Joy and Pain' ( Joy and Pain, 1980), 'We Are One' ( RealAudio excerpt ) ( We Are One, 1983) and 'Can't Get Over You' ( Silky Soul, 1989), the singer didn't cheat concertgoers out of a single note, even though Beverly mentioned that he was recovering from throat problems during a break between songs.
But it was more that a good show it was a great show. The bill was packed with veterans, who gave strong performances. The mature crowd, who filled the Pavilion parking lot with BMWs, Lexus sedans and sport-utility vehicles, danced in the aisles with complete abandon.
'This is one of the few shows that I have been to where people have just stood up for the entire show,' said 33-year-old Felisia Bailey of Hayward, Calif., who was with her husband, Anthony.
Like Bailey, most of the concertgoers were well past 20 and were part of a generation of music fans who love classic R&B, which was performed by Maze and Levert. But the crowd also embraced rap and the modern, hip-hop styled R&B Jodeci (K-Ci and JoJo's original band) represents. When Levert interrupted his set with the chorus from DMX 's 'Party Up,' the crowd knew all the words.
A Touch Of Past Glory
The multigenerational audience screamed when Levert sang his solo hits, such as 'Mr. Too Damn Good' ( G, 1999) and 'School Me' ( Private Line, 1991), but they expected him to dig into the trove of hits made famous by his father, Eddie Levert Sr. of the O'Jays .
Levert, a consummate showman, gave the audience that and more. His set included a full band, and backup singers dressed in elegant black sheaths. He did salsa steps and ground and danced onstage with twice the energy one would expect from a man with his trademark girth.
'Gerald always gives a good show,' 33-year-old Anthony Bailey said. 'He could have been the headliner.'
Levert's brother Sean Levert joined him onstage for a medley of songs from when the brothers were in the '80s R&B group Levert . They sang 'Casanova' ( Big Throwdown, 1987) and 'Baby I'm Ready' ( Rope a Dope Style, 1990), while well-manicured hands clawed for the roses and teddy bears that the brothers tossed into the crowd. They broke out in a Motown-style dance routine when they sung a brief set of O'Jays' hits.
'He's just like his daddy,' Tera Hankins of Antioch, Calif., said of Gerald Levert.
The Levert brothers were joined onstage by K-Ci & JoJo for an extended jam session of the O'Jays' hit 'For the Love of Money,' But earlier in the day, it seemed as if K-Ci might have to perform alone.
Almost A One-Man Show
'I know y'all wondering where JoJo is,' drawled K-Ci, who told the audience that he was from North Carolina.
'He told me that he was gon' make it,' K-Ci said. 'Y'all just pray for him,' he said amid audience laughter.
The singer did well as a one-man-show. He brought the audience, who were lukewarm during Edmonds' set, to its feet as he sang 'Life,' the title cut from the 1999 movie soundtrack. He also sung a cover of 'If You Think You're Lonely Now,' from the 1994 'Jason's Lyric' movie soundtrack.
Jodeci are known as the raunchy predecessor of sexually explicit R&B groups, such as Next . On Sunday, K-Ci's performance was gospel-tinged soul reminiscent of the days when Al Green was a backsliding Baptist singing pop. K-Ci even got on the good foot, hopping James Brown -style across the stage.
JoJo appeared midset and joined his brother for a medley of Jodeci songs and other numbers the brothers have performed as a duo. They sang 'It's Real' ( It's Real, 1999), 'All My Life ( Love Always, 1997) and a few bars of songs from Jodeci's Diary of a Mad Band (1994). They ended the performance promising fans that Jodeci would be back in 2001.
The reception for opening act Edmonds, the After 7 member whose soaring voice made the group memorable, was muted, as most of the audience was fashionably late. When the crooner sang 'Can't Stop' an early After 7 hit written and produced by L.A. Reid and Edmonds' brother Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds and '24/7,' the title track from his 1999 debut solo LP, few people were there to applaud him.