I love Maxwell – BLACKsummer’snight in Toronto

Friday night, the Hubby, the sister-in-law and friend went to see Maxwell, Common and Chrisette Michele at Air Canada Centre. Toronto was the first stop on BLACKsummer’snight tour and, let me tell you, it was on fire! The concert started a little late, but they made up for it.

Chrisette Michele was up first and performed four songs. I like Chrisette Michele, but I’m not a huge fan. Why? She always sounds like she’s putting on or is affected as Simon Cowell would say. I do enjoy Epiphany and it’s on heavy rotation on my iPod. She sounds great live and did her thing. Unfortunately, I was hungry and needed to go to the ladies’ room during her performance, so I ducked out. She sounded really good from the food line.

Hey Chrisette! Do your thing, girl!
Hey Chrisette! Do your thing, girl!

Next up, Common. I’ve been a big Common fan for years. Like Water for Chocolate is a favourite as is Be — but I wasn’t expecting a lot. After this summer’s flop — the Ice Cream Summer Fest (which will never see one red cent of mine ever again) — I know not to expect too much of even my favourite artists. Thankfully, my expectations were more than achieved: we heard tunes including Go, Testify, The People, Come Close and The Light. (Noticeably missing was The Corner. That made The Hubby quite vexed and annoyed.) Midway through the set, he did his own ode to hip hop with verses from I Need Love, Juicy, Gin & Juice and other old school delights. Common’s DJ worked it out destroying Biggie’s Ten Crack Commandments. Ridiculous. Here’s a taste — Universal Mind Control, y’all:

The main event: Maxwell. Sigh. I have seen Maxwell live before at ACC about six years ago. Alicia Keys opened for him and it was a good concert. I didn’t expect less, but I got a heckuva lot more. The critic from the Toronto Sun didn’t enjoy the concert — I don’t know where she was, but we were jammin’ to big tunes like Bad Habits, Fortunate, Lifetime, This Woman’s Work, Pretty Wings, ‘Til the Cops Come Knockin’ and Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder). For over an hour Maxwell sang, danced and flirted with the audience. He let us know his voice was hoarse, but even with a hoarse voice his falsetto was stronger than poseurs like Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke or Jon B. (who I love to death). Back in tenor he mashed it up and you couldn’t really tell that his voice was off.

All that being said, I thought it was a great night with great music. Three musicians who enjoy music sharing their love of music with their fans. I would say it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended and Maxwell and Common are some of the best performers I’ve seen.

There were plenty of naturalistas in the crowd working it out with ‘fros, twists, cornrows and more. I, personally, prefer the Maxwell with the ‘fro, but Maxwell without still isn’t too shabby 🙂

So, if you were there what did you think?


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