The Annual Las Vegas Soul Fest was held over the weekend at the Thomas and Mack arena. There were concerts on both Saturday and Sunday featuring SWV, Lenny Williams, Joe, Kindred the Family Soul, Mary Mary, etc…all the performers I saw all put on an excellent show.
Side note: Did you know SWV started as a gospel group? Yeah, me neither. **Continues on while scratching head and humming ‘Downtown’. **
Even with all that talent in one place, I have to keep it real; I only had ears for Erykah Badu.
Yeah, she’s a celebrity, a superstar, and an icon, but what Erykah Badu really is, is an artist.
She has said more than once that this is her therapy. I’m not sure if she meant singing, playing an instrument or being on stage–or maybe it’s a sweet mixture of all three.
Her songs are a soothing flow of lyrics intricately created from her complex mind. Her body has sifted through personal beliefs, feelings and emotions and spit them out for the world to hear. Her words and songs aren’t esoteric or abstract, nope, they make perfect sense to anyone who has doubted themselves, loved, lost, felt broken or thrown away.
I’m a recovering undercover over-lover recovering from a love I can’t get over
recovering undercover over-lover and now my common law lover thinks he wants another
And I’d lie for you I’d cry for you and pop for you and break for you and hate for you
And I’ll hate you too If you want me too Ah, Uuu…
I’d pray for you crochet for you Make it from scratch for you
Leave out the last for you Go to the store for you Do it some more for you
Do what you want me to
Yes I’m a fool for you…
From: “Out My Mind, Just In Time”
She has put music to my mistakes, my sadness; melody to the words that make up my life, because just like me…she drank the Kool-aid. This chick just said she would crochet for you, make it from scratch for you!
Of course I’ve denied drinking it. But in fact, I’ve gone out bought and mixed the Kool-Aid myself because I loved it so much… So yeah, I did make it from scratch and knitted too… (Heavy sigh)
But, like a true friend she doesn’t give me crap about it.
I love her energy and spirit; her sense of fearlessness (see Window Seat video) and her obvious passion for life, love and of course for music.
She has done thousands of shows but, Saturday was my first opportunity to see her live…and it did something to me. I’ve always been a fan of her music and unique style but, witnessing her in person and watching her perform made me fall in love with her.
Even 15 year old songs felt new and organic as she belted out each verse from her soul. The sounds came from a collection of intangible experiences and it was as if she and the music were intertwined in a secret love affair that I got to witness from the 4th row.
I’ve seen a lot of concerts in Vegas, but what I don’t get to see often is artists perform. Ms. Badu didn’t just show up and half-ass sing her greatest hits and exit stage right. She gave us a show. Over the years I’ve witnessed performers going through the motions like a minimum wage worker and I always question why they even bother. If you don’t love it or believe in what you’re doing then stop. Reevaluate and change course. Erykah said before she finished that life is too short to be anyone but you, and I agree.
She had me feeling so fulfilled I bought one of her t-shirts from the vendor outside–another first for me!
I spent the next day cutting and slashing the $20 shirt so that it would fit my style. You like? If you’re interested in sexifying one of your old or new t-shirts I will post a mini how-to pictorial on my Facebook page. (This means you need to be my friend to see it, don’t worry all you have to do is ask
Ms. Badu is best enjoyed with a whisky sour on the rocks, or wine, or beer…oh, who am I kidding? She goes with everything.
Disclaimer: Tickets were promotional comps, however, all thoughts and opinions are that of the Vegas Soulcialite…psshh, like you would think otherwise.