Photos by G.
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.
See more pictures and the set list after the jump.