Words by Nicolette Carney
If used the right way, social media has the ability to let you know that some amazing things are about to happen in music. So on my birthday, the guys over at You Know I Got Soul announced the ME tour featuring Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benét. I said to myself, “This should be a hot show. Let me get tickets”. But before I dropped my coins, I figured I would let family and friends know that this would be a great birthday gift. Made a post on Facebook and within 24 hours, a ticket was in my inbox.
So fast forward to Friday night at a packed-out Wiltern theatre, where the first sign that a good night was on the way…. It started ON. TIME. When I say on time, the show started exactly at 8:00. Not 8:03. Not 8:36. Professionalism at is finest. Following an introduction by the host of the evening was an intro that faded into Mr. Eric Benét walking to the mic ever so smoothly. By the way, At 50 years old, the man looks and sounds AMAZING.
The first thing that stood out about Benét’s performance was vocal delivery and power. Now I’m aware that he can flat out SING. However, his ability to hit deep baritone notes then jump to falsetto effortlessly and not get tired, blew me away and shows why his has career has gone on for nearly 30 years. Another highlight of his set was how deep his catalog goes. From the wedding anthem “Spend My Life” accompanied by vocalist Jessica Jolia (who held it down in Tamia’s place), “Chocolate Legs”, “News for You”, “Georgy Porgy”, “Sunshine”, “Insane” and the seasoned woman’s twerk anthem “Sometimes I Cry” (a seasoned woman did indeed twerk to this, causing me to literally laugh out loud during the show).
One of my favorite moments of the night was also a come to Jesus moment for yours truly. As I mentioned earlier, I knew Benét could flat sing, but I still was somewhat sleeping on this fact. The prime example of this was his cover of “How Come You Don’t Call Me”, dedicated to the late GOAT Prince. He did everything you were suppose to do in covering a classic joint. It was not overwhelming nor underwhelming. The cover was so dope that I found myself standing up like Eddie King Jr’s mom on The Five Heartbeats.
So Mr. Benét, if you’re reading this? I’m sorry.
After a brief intermission, the lights go down and DJ Aktive introduces Marsha Ambrosius and with a roaring response, she gracefully takes the stage and starts her performance with “Tears” that segue into “Shoes.” What makes Ambrosius one of the best and unique live performers is her ability to blend one song with another as if she was giving a DJ set. Some prime examples were the mashups of “Knocks Me Off My Feet” with her two-step banger “I Want You To Stay,” “Far Away” with Mary J Blige’s “My Life” and “Hope She Cheats (On You With a Basketball Player) with Faith Evans’ ”Used To Love Me.” The audience was also introduced to new music that will appear on her upcoming album. Some of the new joints included, the summer love bop “Luh Ya” and “Just Like Old Times.”
For those that may have thought that becoming a mom would mean the end of slow jams and baby makers for Ambrosius, you need to think again. The audience was
impregnated serenaded with some of Marsha’s joints from “Late Nights and Early Mornings,” “So Good,” “69” and “With You.”
“Someone in here is pregnant right now!” says Ambrosius. She was probably right. At least 20 couples were pregnant and “Say Yes” and “Your Hands” had not been performed at that point.
Overall this was a great show. If you love the ability to sit back, enjoy some great vocals, and get a mean two-step on? Then Marsha and Eric got all of that for you and more on The ME Tour.
Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Nicolette Carney had no choice to have a deep love for music. The photographer/musician/journalist now resides in LA where you can find her in a photography pit or the audience. Check out her Instagram, @miss.niccic for her latest and past work.