Whether you were “booed-up” with your significant other or observing Singles Awareness Day, the only place to be on Valentine’s Night 2015 was The Theater at Madison Square Garden with R&B’s sultry and sensual, 11-time Grammy Award winner, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. THZ was in the house for what was an amazing night filled with some of the most romantic music.
Opening the show was Avery*Sunshine, a relative newcomer to the music scene. Along with her guitarist, she emerged onstage looking fierce in a stunning, form-fitted red leather jacket and skin-tight black pants. Her beautifully cropped hair and makeup, complete with bright red lips, shimmered under the gleaming spotlight. She immediately commanded the stage with her vocal prowess belting out such hits as “I Got Sunshine” and “Pinin” from her first CD Avery*Sunshine. To our delight, she also paid homage to vocalist and spoken word artist, Jill Scott, with her flawless rendition of “He Loves Me.” And just as we were settling into this amazing woman’s performance, she closed the set with her breakout hit, “Call My Name” from her 2014 CD The Sun Room. Ms. Sunshine is an extremely talented artist and we look forward to hearing more music from her in the near future.
As the men in the audience came down from the “sunshine”, it was time for the ladies to turn up. And turn up they did as 1990’s R&B quartet, 112, exploded onstage decked out in white suits and black shirts showcasing their well-choreographed dance moves reminiscent of The Temptations. The heat in the theater was elevated 100% as they performed the hits we came to love them for. Their performance ranged from high-energy songs like “Only You”, “Peaches & Cream” and “Dance With Me” to the seductive “Anywhere”, “U Already Know” and “Cupid”. One by one, Daron, Q, Mike and Slim took turns showing their individual talents proving each member’s ability to lead the group and reminding us why they are still a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
When the man of the hour finally took his rightful place on stage, the audience erupted while the musical prelude to “For the Cool in You” engulfed the theater. From that moment on, Babyface became every woman’s secret Valentine as he took us down memory lane with some of his biggest hits such as “Every Time I Close My Eyes”, “Soon As I Get Home”, “Sunshine” and “Never Keeping Secrets”.
With such a successful solo career, it’s easy to forget that Babyface is the musical genius behind so many other artists. But he certainly reminded us with an outstanding medley of the memorable “Slow Jam” by Midnight Starr, “Rock Steady” and “In The Mood” by The Whispers, “Roses Are Red” by The MAC Band, “My My My” by Johnny Gill, “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campell, “I’ll Make Love To You” and “End of The Road” by Boyz II Men and “Two Occasions” by The Deele of which he was a member.
Thankfully, it didn’t end there as Mr. Edmonds came out with vocals blazing. As co-writer and producer of former bad boy, Bobby Brown’s 2nd solo project, he delivered a separate medley of mega-hits from the album such as “Every Little Step”, “Rock Wit’Cha”, “Roni” and “Don’t Be Cruel”. Putting his own spin on each song brought new life to every one of them.
Any true Babyface fan knows there is one, and only one, song that qualifies as his grand finale. After anxiously anticipating it all night, we must say his performance was definitely worth the wait. He has never executed “Whip Appeal” quite the way he did that night. He was sensual and seductive, even teasing the ladies with a view of his bare chest as he removed his jacket and slowly unbuttoned his shirt. The crowd sang the lyrics at the top of their lungs right along with him and, by the end of the night, every woman in the building was completely “whipped”.
The Valentine’s Day Babyface & Friends concert was truly an amazing experience. THZ had a wonderful time and would like to thank Lindsay Salandra at WBLS Radio for providing us with the opportunity to attend this epic event.