Monday, June 02, 2008


Erykah, filled her ‘vortex’ at the Fox

By Serena Robinson (Erykah Badu photo by Carlston Edwards)

Hundreds packed the St. Louis Fox last Thursday night for the Erykah Badu, featuring The Roots concert (dubbed the Vortex Tour) . Diverse concert goers repped various ages, colors, styles and income levels. Folks almost packed the house on Thursday, (unlike last April’s sold out Jill Scott/ Raheim Devaughn concert).

But back to the show...

On to the main course…

That hip hop, soul vibe was still moving the audience, but simmered down during the lengthy ‘set-up’ for headliner. Ms Erykah Badu… (an insider gave us the scoop that the delay may have been related to the assistants bringing in a portable foot-spa, just for Badu prior to her performance.)

Emerging in front of a mirrored background, a ‘thicker’ Badu entered the stage wearing a black strapless, ruffled dress, tights and ankle boots, a black feathered headpiece minus her usual head wrap. On stage accompanied with her herbal tea, and digital components beside her, she created her own ambiance.

Fans stood to their feet, receiving opener ‘Amerykahn Promise,’ as the retro neo soul sista confidently delivered her new style. Releasing never seen before choreographed dance moves, she brought an even more eccentric level to her uniqueness.

Cuts from her recent album ‘New Amerykah Part 1-4th World War,’ had concert goers trying to understand the New Badu, along with her neophyte sounds, through her song ‘ME,’ she relayed ‘It’s still me.’

Though some folks may not be able to relate to Badu’s new style and sounds, some things still remained the same. Just as in her CD’s 1997’s “Baduizm” and 2000’s “Mama’s Gun,” her wide range vocals were on point ) Guess that herb tea keeps things in tact…so, where is Whitney’s assistant? lol)

Anyway, the crowd was revived with a few old cuts, like ‘On & On,’ ‘Apple Tree’ and one of the highlights of the show: ‘The Other Side of the Game.’ More grooving, and booty-shakin dance moves accompanied ‘Danger.’

Badu, surrendered a testimonial on being bold, consciousness, and strength in taking over in 2008 AD.

After the finale’ ‘Bag Lady,’ a semi receptive audience filtered out, some I’m sure wishing they had heard favorite cuts like “Tyrone,” and “Next Lifetime.”

Our opener, THE ROOTS stepped to the stage right at 8pm prompt, rockin the ‘thirty something’ cool crowd.

Giving the Next Movement, the Philly-based band came to the stage, and immediately had everyone amped’ and on their toes. Coming to break us off with that oh-so familiar sound, the Roots crew from Philly funked us with nothing but pure, live hip hop.

Their biggest hit ‘You Got Me’ surpringly did not have Badu come on stage and jam with them, but still placed the crowd on a mellow chill mode. With the ode to hip hop, the crowd was taken back, Back into time with an Ol School medley of cuts like ‘Jump on It’ and ‘Push it’ mixed in with a lil Biz Markie and some ODB.

The Jam Session had folks forgetting where their seats were. (including sista-girl & her dance patna, who were working it out, dancing in the isle…)

They exited with a standing ovation, as the audience couldn’t get enough of the Roots Crew from Philly…. Maybe next time, they’ll headline.

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