Erykah Badu Plays a Secret Show in New York

Posted by The G on March 28, 2010 under G Reviews | 9 Comments to Read

Photos by G.

Erykah Badu live at Good Units at the Hudson Hotel in New York on March 28, 2010

I haven’t seen Erykah Badu live since 2001 and in 2001 immediately after leaving the show, I went out and bought every album I could get my hands on.  Her performance was something close to a musical religious experience.  9 years later, the same can be said for my experience tonight.  To celebrate the release of her album “New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Anhk)” (which is released officially on March 30, 2010), Erykah Badu played a secret show in New York on March 28, 2010. Believe me when I say, it was the hottest ticket in town.  The show took place at Good Units, which is located in the basement of the Hudson Hotel.  The venue (for my New York readers), is about the size of the Highline Ballroom, which is quite shocking considering that it’s a rarely used locale for shows.  It is alleged that tickets for this event sold out in less than 10 minutes after being announced late last week.  While the doors opened at 8:30pm, we had to endure 3 opening acts and an in-between-sets DJ that had a penchant for playing every song in history that sounds like James Brown’s “Doing It To Death.”  Needless to say, our neo-soul chanteuse didn’t hit the stage until 1 o’clock in the morning, but from the second she walked on stage, she set the place on fire! I really think it should be written in Erykah Badu’s record contract that she must release a live album from each tour she does, because her performances simply need to be captured on tape.  She hits all the high notes, has a tight band that makes her tracks even funkier, has an amazing stage presence packed with funny anecdotes and makes everyone in the concert hall groove like nobody’s watching.  I swear at times she channeled everyone from Janis Joplin to Ella Fitzgerald.  I cannot stress highly enough that you should go see her when she visits your town, even if you are reading this thinking, “that’s not really my kind of music.” Erykah is truly an under-rated living legend. Tonight she played a selection of new songs and old favorites from “On and On” to her latest “Window Seat.”  I’ll post the set list after the jump (which is currently residing in the G Archives), and while it says she played “Tyrone,” I do not recall the song being played.  I was extremely tired, but not drunk, so I am puzzled at how I could have missed hearing that song when she was standing less than 5 feet away from me, but I guess stranger things have happened.  Can anyone that was there enlighten us?  Regardless, she’s truly a great performer and I have made a mental note not to wait 9 years until the next time I see her live.

Return of the Anhk - Ms. Erykah Badu

See more pictures and the set list after the jump.

Ms. Badu is always coming for real and you know the deal...

Not your typical bag lady...

The Set List for Erykah Badu live at Good Units in New York on March 27/28, 2010. Now property of the G Archives.

In case you are reading on a Blackberry and cannot make out the set list, here it is.  I am going on record and saying, I do not think it’s entirely accurate.  If you were there, please help!  At any rate…

The set list for Erykah Badu at Good Units at the Hudson Hotel on March 27/28, 2010 was:

20 Feet Tall / Hip Hop / Me / My People / Soldier / On and On / Other Side / Danger / Back in the Day / Bag Lady / I Want U / Tyrone / Didn’tcha Know / Fall In Love / Window Seat.

She played for close to two hours with no break (except to sip her tea on stage).  Badu.  Legend.

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  • philinthemusic said,

    Thank you for your comments/review, which I totally agree with. I was in the left balcony the entire night and I wondered who the guy was dead center, on the rail the entire evening. Like you, I saw her back in 2001 and paid 200+ to see her at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, CA. Thank you for posting the set list, which I noticed there seemed to only be one of on the stage.

    I obtained a ticket via Craigslist and spent too much money. I was warned that she is notoriously late for club shows but I did not anticipate how late she was really going to go on. All of my pent up anger of the 2 hour set change and any feeling that I spent too much went away the second she opened her mouth to sing. Her tone, phrasing, and soulfulness are perfectly matched with her bands syncopation. I just smiled and thought, thank goodness I live in New York.

    You are correct, she did not perform Tyrone. I am downcast that she made the omission, however, the set was still brilliant.


  • The G said,

    Thanks for the confirmation Philinthemusic.

    I cannot even tell you how many times I nearly left before she went on (especially during that rapper that played a song about his uknowwhat being racist), but I kept reminding myself that it will all be worth it as soon as she sings the first word, and I was right. A lot of the people that were standing around me burst into tears several times during the performance, which was further proof that we really got to witness something special last night.

    Glad u enjoyed!


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    I left the concert a song after she came on. I was so pissed about how late she was. I think it’s incredibly disrespectful to her fans (no apology, no nothing) and do not plan on buying her new album.

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