After hearing her story at the UNCF Empower Me tour at my alma mater, Hampton University last year, I just knew that she had a voice that would touch my heart. Many of you may of heard her powerful voice recently at the “Black Girls Rock” awards this past year and some of you may be die hard fans but at Yoshi’s this weekend, all you need to be was a lover of good music to enjoy this sold out show.
My experiences at Yoshi’s are always different and this time around I was able to try out their sushi, get a good seat, and enjoy a performer at her best. 2010 Grammy nominee Ledisi opened up her first show on a Thursday night, January 20, 2010. We were all anticipating her arrival when suddenly she appeared Diana Ross style in the audience; greeting everyone she sees as she opened with “Get To Know You”; so fitting for the occasion. The audience was shocked and eager to see what she had in store for us. Known for her jazz influenced vocals, Ledisi immediately turned the famous jazz restaurant into her very own juke joint, rockin’ with a live band, back up singers, and music directors to assisted in her artistic capabilities and her hot dance moves. She turned up the heat with the audience’s favorites “Higher Than This”, “Alright”, and “Get Outta My Kitchen”, and transformed into a human saxophone as sounds vibrantly spoke to the audience through “Goin’ Thru Changes”, and “Best Friend” and “Knockin’”. Fans were on their feet and rockin’ to the rhythms in no time showing respect as she became in sync with her band, giving us freestyle breakdowns of each song.
Many artists lack stage presence, stamina, and passion but Ledisi made sure that her audience left with a sermon to your mind and lesson to your souls. It almost felt like church on a Thursday, with some sushi on the side. She told a story from the moment she walked in until her last song “Alright”.
“Be careful of who and what you allow in your personal circle,” she says as she ended her first show in Oakland. Ledisi has came a long way and deserves her 2010 Grammy nomination whether you like it or not. I’m just happy I could take a break from the boring radio hits and indulge in what I call “The New Queen of Soul”. Although, she’s sold out this weekend, others can still catch her on tour with Kem and El Debarge in the upcoming months.
*Due to House regulations; no flash photography or video, I was unable to capture photos. If there were professional photographers on site that are interested please contact me. Thanks :)