Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
June 22, 2017
All photos by Paul Piazza.
Neo soul legend Maxwell recently headlined at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. He was touring in support of 2016’s blackSUMMERS’night. On this warm summer’s evening (the temperature was 108 degrees), the singer brought along two hot supporting acts-rapper/actor Common and fellow neo soul artist Ledisi.
Maxwell, who won a Grammy earlier this year for best R&B song with “Lake By the Ocean,” played songs from the recent album as well as a vast selection of hits from throughout his career.
He began the show by descending slowly down a ramp onto the stage and then working the boards throughout the performance. Dressed sharply in a dark suit and a crisp white shirt, the singer launched the crowd (particularly the female members) into a frenzy as he constantly engaged them with banter, innuendo, and swift dance moves. He played some of the most popular hits from his career including “Woman’s Work,” “Ascension” and “Sumthin Sumthin.” Backed by an excellent large band, the singer and his group delivered on all levels.
Common, who defined his hip hop career in the early 90’s with legendary albums like “Can I Borrow a Dollar,” and “Resurrection” came out like he had something to prove. Beginning with the epic joint “The Corner,” he commanded the stage with swagger. By the time he reached the third song, “Black America Again,” he had the audience listening closely. This socio-political charged song, which on the recording features a guest spot by Stevie Wonder, was one of 2016’s most recognized protest songs. Near the end of his set, he circled back to one of the great hip-hop classics of all time, “I Used to Love H.E.R.” It was a solid set that could be classified as intense.
Ledisi Anibade Young, who goes only by her first name, hails from New Orleans but moved to the Bay Area when she was a teen. She studied opera and piano in the young musicians program at U.C. Berkeley and had an extended run in the famous musical Beach Blanket Babylon. She been successful in both the jazz and R&B realms and has received five Grammy nominations.
On this night, Ledisi’s set opened with a rock guitarist coming to the edge of the stage to whip out some metal licks. Next, the singer came out in a spiked leather jacket and proceeded to rock the stage. She played some of her biggest hits and left the audience satisfied.
It was the biggest crowd for this trio on their tour, proving that even on an evening when it’s roasting in Sacramento, fans will warm up to some good R&B.
Setlist: Into/Pretty Wings | Bad Habits | Fortunate | Gods | Trav/Shed Woman’s Work Intro | Woman’s Work | Lake By The Ocean | 1990X | Til the Cops | Was My Girl | Lifetime | MellowSmoove/Sumthin Sumthin | Get To Know Ya | Ascension | Whenever Wherever
For more information about Maxell, click here.
Learn all about Common on his website.
Find out more about Ledisi here.