After I interviewed J. Holiday
, I was hooked. I became an immediate super fan! I started digging up song and listening to what has now become one of my favorite vocalists. So when I was sent the news that he’d been tapped to open for Keyshia Cole
and would be stopping through New Orleans at the House of Blues, I jumped at the chance to get another interview in person and to see his live show. Well, unfortunately we had to postpone the interview *tear* due to him being under the weather and needing to prepare for the two
shows they had sold out
for the night, but I was still very excited to see him live!
Continue reading to read my full review of the show and see exclusive pictures from the show!
So the House of Blues is one of the best places to catch live music because the setting is very intimate and you can get real up close and personal! So when the show began, there were three, yes three, opening acts. The first artist to come out was a new artist by name of Wynter Gordon, who recently signed with Atlantic Records. She came out with an up tempo song called “Sweet Dreams.” I was highly entertained by her Ginuwine-esque dancers who gave us a 5 minute solo. She closed with a slow ballad that was rather depressing, called “Daddy’s Song” about her absent father. Her voice is a little different but she is also a songwriter who has written for Mary J Blige and Danity Kane. She was followed by another R&B singer by the name of Beasle [like weasel with a B]. She started with the SWV classic “Weak” and even the person I was with thought she was lip syncing, but no, she was belting it out. Her voice is very similar in tone to that of CoCo. I was quite impressed by her vocal performance. The crowd gave her a great response as well after nailing “Weak.” She kept it real soulful with 2 R&B songs, one called “What” that I particularly liked and closed with a gospel song where she really showed her range and runs.
The next cat that hit the stage was one that I am still trying to wrap my brain around. He goes by the name Ray “Ray-L” Lavender and you may have heard his debut single off Akon’s Kon Life Records, called “My Girl Got a Girlfriend.” He sounds a lot like a hybrid between Akon and T-Pain. He wasn’t the best vocalist in the world but he was fine, so the ladies loved him. His album X-Rayted is due out this fall and clearly will be x-rated, his show was highly sexual. I will say this, homie is really excited to be on Akon’s label, because he threw up the ‘X’ [like clink-clink] about 173 times. He is from Monroe, Louisiana, so I big ups to that, got to represent for the home team…
So on to the main reason I was there, the man of the hour, my new baby daddy J. Holiday! As he came out, I scurried my way to the front to get some up close and personal snap shots. First let me go ahead and say, yes, he is just as sexy in person! Those bedroom eyes are to die for! He seems slightly sluggish, but I may have been the only one in the room who noticed and that’s
only because I knew he was under the weather, but that didn’t stop him from putting on a great show. The minute he opened his voice with the Rodney Jerkin’s produced “Be with Me” I was good to go. He surprised the crowd with a bit of R. Kelly's "12 Play", mmm hmmm. Then went into two other songs from his October 2nd debut release, Back of my ‘Lac, one of which was his ode to the hood, “Ghetto.” By this point he had came out of his jack and white tee, down to his tank. Yeah, that was a nice sight to see! He closed with the summer’s sexiest hit song “Bed,” which I think I felt a few hearts melt [among other things] in the audience. He gave plenty of his adoring fans personal mini-serenades. Yeah, I’m a bit jealous about that too, but I got some great pictures! Unfortunately, he didn’t sing “Suffocate” *another tear* but I definitely plan to catch him live again in the near future.
J. Holiday [nee Nahum Grymes] has become one of 2007’s most anticipated artists. He is vocally superior to many artists out today; I mean this guy can really sing, plain and simple. That’s the difference and I love that we share a love for music which shines in his performance. He could sing the phone book to me and I’d be happy! However I am not alone in my sentiments, his true talent for singing is the most given compliment that I’ve read. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard anything bad about him. Especially reviews of his live show. Most give him rave reviews for live performance, shutting down critics that think he’s only good in the studio.
So can you tell that I was thoroughly pleased with the show? Well I definitely was and would recommend his show if you want great live music, it is one not to be missed!
Back of My ‘Lac is due out October 2nd [day before my birthday! Hint hint], it will be a must have!
Keyshia Cole’s show, honestly, was better than I expected. We’ve all heard the audio of her impromptu Easter solo gone to hell, so I was a bit skeptical about her live show. Off top, her band was hot, especially the dreaded up guitar player with the Black & Mild…those damn Blacks! I know people love to compare her to Mary J. Blige and during her show I really saw the similarities. Like Mary, all of her emotions were in her voice and face. Not so much in the choreography, she was very nonchalant with it. Her background singers/dancers were a smidgen more jazzy. She also had 2 guy dancers that were cutting up.
Starting her set with some of her early songs, “I Just Want It to be Over,” “I Changed My mind,” and “1000 Kisses” from the Barbershop 2 Soundtrack. All of which I was excited to hear because it had been a minute since I’ve heard any of them and they were all my joints, especially “I Just Want It to be Over.” That was the break up song of 2005! She slowed it down and sang some of the ballads from her first album The Way It Is, including “Love.” Kudos to Keyshia for belting that one out, she was on point that night.
She closed her hour long set with a couple of new songs from her sophomore release Just Like You, with her slated second single “Should Let You Go” and of course her party-friendly “Let It Go.” Her reviews can be all over the place, but I was pleasantly surprised. If you enjoy Keyshia Cole, you love the show.
Just Like You is due out September 25th
Big thank you to Nicola @ Capital Records for making the review happen. Stay tuned for part deux of the J. Holiday Interview!
Labels: J. Holiday, Keyshia Cole