Read the recap!
2013 MMVAs on June 16!
Finale Friday 7E/4P
March 12th, 2010
I remember being incredibly impressed when Alicia Keys first broke out on the scene. I was in my tweens, bored of the bubble-pop music and needed something fresh and original in my Sony discman – and in comes this New Yorker with braids and a swagga of her own, singing about self-worth and love with a killa attitude. And she’s pretty much been a part of the music industry’s elite since.
So seeing an artist that I’ve had an immense amount of respect for since I was a lil’ one LIVE… well, I feel pretty darn blessed. And slightly more self-conscious, seeing how Ms.Keys is the epitome of perfection. *sniff*
…alright, alright. Let’s get on with the review, shall we?
Toronto-native Melanie Fiona filled the spot as the first opening act, performing with a spunk and attitude that made her fit to open for Alicia Keys. While there weren’t many people who knew this Grammy nominated songstress, she rocked the stage with her in-yo-face choreography and vocals. Kardinal Offishall came out to support Melanie at the end of her set, both waving Canadian flags with pride.
Robin Thicke shut.it.down. as the second opening act. I’ve never been a huge fan of his work, but I am sure that all females in the ACC were reconsidering their relationships because of his swooning vocals, hip movements, and provocative lyrics. If Mr. Suave didn’t melt you into putty last night, then you possess the force, my friends. Thicke ended his set by jamming with his band to ‘A Milli’ by Weezy, which certainly set the crowd off in preparation for Alicia Keys.
As for Alicia herself: FEE. NOM. EEE. NAL.
“The Freedom Tour” was a story told through a series of songs and well-constructed narration that delivered inspiring messages of persistence, strength, hope, self-empowerment, and love. Alicia, with supa-poyfect curly hair and blingy leggings arrived on the stage held in a cage while the opening of “Caged Bird” played. As she freed herself, she belted out “Love is Blind”, getting the crowd energized for what would certainly be an incredible night.
There was no way she could do any wrong with the show. She’s released four solid albums, each spawning Top 40 anthems for all ages, and she has one of the most gawgeous voices all around – no matter what was performed, you felt like you were a part of her journey and felt her presence. Words of encouragement, paired with quotes and pop art images of some of the most respected humanitarians lit up the screen, only enhancing Alicia’s messages during the show.
The main set list was hit after hit, ballad after ballad, with a few surprising selections like “Pray for Forgiveness” and “Go Ahead”. I found that the quieter moments of the show, like “Diary” and “Un-thinkable” were the most powerful. I was holding out on the hope that she would play a little more from Songs in A Minor, but a gal’s gotta promote what a gal’s gotta promote – that being her fourth disc, The Element of Freedom (not that her new material isn’t amazing, but I like to kick it old school).
Alicia’s warm and fierce attitude shined during the show as she rocked it on the piano, keytar, and even through some choreography. Confidence exuding, Alicia tied up the show with a delicious encore. As she played around with sampler before getting into “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart”, the screams became deafening and the crowd really became active, a highlight as many stayed in their seats for the show.
I unfortunately was told to sit down by a dude behind me for majority of the show, but my momma had none of that shiz when Alicia brought out “No One”, grabbing my hand and serenading me as if she was a back-up singer on that stage. Loves it!
To end it off, Alicia performed “Empire State of Mind Part II (Broken Down)”, her take on the original that she was featured on by Jay-Z, having everyone sing the infamous “In New York” hook before taking her final bow for the night.
Love is Blind
You Don’t Know my Name
Another Way to Die
Like the Sea
I Need You
Pray for Forgiveness
Like You’ll Never See Me Again
Wait Til’ You See My Smile
Put It in a Love Song
Sleeping with a Broken Heart
If I Ain’t Got You
Empire State of Mind Part II (Broken Down)
[Photo Courtesy of Getty Images]Tweet