Saturday, January 31, 2009

LaBelle: 30 years later

Is it just me or does it annoy you when groups who were popular back in the day get back together for a last go round.... They make the national tour circuit, they get the massive PR blitz and then when you get to the show, they sound really bad... I mean like they should have just stayed home... I went to see LaBelle last week. They came to the Nokia Center at LA Live... and I have to admit they were stupendous, off the chain, awesome, super, all that and some chips!!!

I really liked this girl group back in the day seventies when they were out. Remember they had the futuristic outrageous outfits and the socially conscious lyricism... Their harmonies were off the hook. I remember "Come into my Life, Get Somebody New and of course the R&B/Disco classic "Lady Marmalade"... And while this is not the first time they reunited, I was really excited about this reunion for the simple fact that I just was not aware of the earlier reunions.
Interestingly enough, there was not a lot of press regarding their appearance in Los Angeles. And perhaps that explains the lack of buzz regarding their appearance. In my opinion the show should have been hosted in a smaller venue as the Nokia Center was not the optimal location for a LaBelle Reunion show. Sad to report, there were a LOT of empty seats in the Nokia Center... This program would have been more effective inside the Club Nokia or one of the smaller venues around town. That said, the group fought through sound issues (OK,Live Nation, I have been to a couple of shows where your sound was really sub-par... I mean Teena Marie, LaBelle and even a few more R&B legacy artists of whom I will not mention here but my opinion of y'all in LA consists of poor sound production),,,

I was amazed at how beautiful the women of Labelle looked. I have seen Patti LaBelle a thousand times and she has definitely is an R&B legend after she left LaBelle... And Sarah Dash, she has remained active in the industry over the years, but I have to say, I was surprised to be reminded how she had the body of life back in the day and now she is a healthy, size 17/18...(that's my estimate meaning to say she is a voluptuous woman as opposed to the brick house she was back in the day... of the three females, Sarah had the body of life...)
These women were off the chain... experienced, charming, entertaining.... But I was most struck by Nona Hendryx... from the moment thy took the stage, her energy was apparent... I was really surprised when the ladies confessed their ages... Patti and Nona is 64 and Sarah is 63... But Nona was clearly to me, the most beautiful... No disrespect to the other ladies, but I am trying to tell you that Nona Hendyx is FOINE!!!

I did not know that Nona wrote most of their songs.. It was apparent that Nona was a phenomenal songwriter...And upon further review, she is certainly due her respect... But up until this point I just did not know... I mean this was an awesome group back in the day.. and Nona's creativity was central to that success...
During the middle of the set, they showed film clips of LaBelle from back in the day...I don't know about the rest of the audience, But I really appreciated where LaBelle came from and where they were today, as I watched the vids on the big screens in the venue....
Amid technical difficulties and what seemed to be uncertainly of the house as they seemed surprised at the house attendance LaBelle was off tha hook.... I am so glad they sang Isn't it a Shame... And while their new core audience (the LBGT segment was THICK in the House) definitely supports Nona and Patti, I am not sure they remember, appreciate or celebrate the legacy this girl group has with the timeline that is black music history...

All I know is that LaBelle in 2009 still captured the essence of what they were back when I was in school.... Tight harmonies, stage chemistry...and a library of songs that will always be a central element of black music history....
LaBelle... if you can, check them out... support this legacy group by your attendance....

1 comment:

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