Monday, July 07, 2008


Photos by Ma'atology and Lance Omar Thurman
Around 5 ish PM, folk were waitin to get in the Park for the concert. They let the folk start comin in around 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, they were some characters around the APrk awitin to get in. One who took the HOOD RAT AWARD was the brotha who had on two sets of rings on each finger and watches on both arms!
This white guy from NYC was pimpin the Obama shirts to the crowd as they wait to get in. We told the guy we were John McCain suppoerts as a joke. LOL. BELOW: More folk waiting to get inside.

Majic 104.9 's Selena J addressed the crowd.

RIGHT: Folk setting up to watch the concert.

Part of the stage area.

This sista was working overtime selling beer to the VIP crowd (Oh and we will address this matter later in this posting.) .

The opening
act was Jefferson City's Gloria Brand whose hour set comprised of many R&B faves including the opening song, Aretha Franklin's "Spirit in the Dark."

She also performed, Rufus' "Tell Me Somthing Good," Donny Hathaway's "Ghetto Boy," and Deneice Wiliams' "Free."

She also jazzed it up with Ella Fitzgerald's "Round Midnight," Bobby Caldwell's, "What You Won't Do For Love." and some of her won scatting that wowed the crowd.

The Mason Jones Band worked it out, and Jones himself killed the guitar with those riffs!

She concluded with Rufus' "Stay" and Jill Scott's "Whateva."

During intermission, we set out to take crowd shots. These are some of the folk in VIP.

VIP folk

Folk crowded by the fireman's statue at Soldiers' Memorial.

A long shot of the stage.

The crowd could be seen five blocks away!

The crowd on the Market Street side.

The crowd form the Olive Street side.

Charmaine Chapman Co-Chairman Debra Patterson addressed the crowd on the sponsors and the afterparty at Skybox as Enterprise Car's Alonzo Byrd looked on. Both businesses they represnted were sponsors of Live Off the Levee.

The VIP crowd. If you look hard enough you will see Something Blue's Larry Blure getting ready to sit down and photographer Lance Omar Thurman walking with his cam.

Anthony Hamilton's background singers.

If you diodnt catch the pic the first time--now can you see Blue and Thurman? LOL.

YOURS TRULY, Ma'at Atkins took a pic near the backstage area of the concert. (Photo by Lance Omar Thurman)

A shot of the crowd (Photo by Lance Omar Thurman)

Anthony Hamilton on stage (photo by Lance Omar Thurman)

The background singers--again.

Hamilton did not disappoint with his raspy gospel tinged vocals (and check out DAT HAT!).

His performance was a mix of Prince, Bobby Womack and a Southern preacher.

Hamilton performed various non-hits from his CD's
Comin' from Where I'm From, Soulife and Ain't Nobody Worryin'.

Some of those non-hits included "Southern Stuff," and "The Truth."

He also got his clown on as well!

He was also quite comical. He told the crowd, "I ain't come here by mistake, I came on purpose." Then asked the crowd, "Did you stumble here in this place. I don't believe it if you did." He then introduced a new song, "The Point of it All," from his upcoming CD of the same title and was well receieved by the feedback from the crowd.

The crowd got into his hour set.

Therre's So Diverse's Lisa Rodgers and her friend Hope Butler chillin up in VIP at the concert.

As the concert went on, he got out of that hat cuz the sweatin he was doin was comin from where he was from! LOL. He also got poiltical when he announced a couple times that folk needs to support and vote State Treausurer candidate Andria Simckes in November.

He got up close and personal with the crowd--which is an understatement (as you will see in a few pics).

This fan was one of the many who was into Hamilton's set.

....and got a chance to get that hand.


He was gettin all up in the mix duirng his cover of the OJays' "Stairway to Heaven" and segued into, his popular hit, "Sister Big Boned."

Hamilton walked to stage left and jumped off the stage and did his shake a hand dance in the VIP area as the crowd crowded around him.

He was feeling the spirit for real!

And so were his fans!

Meanwhile, as Hamiltion was taking a brief break, he gave his wife Tarsha McMillan a few minutes to perform songs from her CD, "The McMillan Project," including the songs Second to Nothin," and "Reachin Out" garnering much cheers and applause from the crowd.

He later changed attire to continue his set including his last major hit, "Can't Let Go." A few minutes later, he gave a PSA about watching young children and the adults that are awrouind them. "A child can see what you can't see. So, no Santa Claus on the lap, Pappa Claus, or Uncle Claus. Protect them."

Now this sista was THEE FAN of the concert.

As he performed his hit, "Charlene," she was in mesmerized mode.

....doing her testifyin with hand gestures and singing along..

"You sho nuff tellin the truth!"

"Sing it, baby!"

Hamilton ended his set with his first hit, "Comin from Where I'm From" and telling the crowd to be careful walking around with the small children in the Park.

As we walked out of the Park area. There were tens of thousands that were in the vicinity. As you see, they were hangin out on one of the city court buildings during the concert.

They were everywhere!

Sellers and all.

They also had a big screen while the concert was going on. A few thousand were watching the concert from it.

Folk were loungin big time up in there. We managed to leave out 10 minutes after leaving VIP!

EVENT VIEWZ. Overall the turnout at this concert at Live (Off )the Levee was overwhelmingly packed. We estimate it had to have been AT LEAST 50, 000 folk there. The additional 30,000 we are sure came from the African Methodist Episcopal chruch Convention that was goin on downtown.

But there were some drawbacks:
1.As we were waiting to get inside the Park, Market Street was not closed off for the event. Cars were driving as people were trying to walk across the street to get to the entrance area. Now if you have an event where there's Johnny on the Spots on a busy street and the cross streets, you would think the street would be closed off. Anyone could have gotten ran over or killed(One guy almost got hit but crossed the street in time.)

2.As the crowd were admitted inside, there was only one guy who was there at the security checkpoint. He was there to check bags, but the search was a once over by looking down in the bag and thats it! No wand, no take your items out , NOTHIN! Anyone could have snuck anything up in therre from a deadly weapon to fireworks! What made it even wilder was, the guy told one person they couldnt bring coolers in, but what was the purpose of saying that when he didnt check bags to see what was in those!
3.THe VIP area. Each year Live on the Levee has paper stickers for those who are VIP to put on their person to receive close proximity to the stage area. Well, this year, because of the venue change from the Archgrounds to the Park, the VIP area was sitting in front of the stage (as opposed to standing near the sides of the stage from previous years , which in some sense, better as far as viewing), but the problem occurred as far as those in VIP not getting access to the two VIP beer booths on both sides of the stage. VIPers had to have had a VIP bracelet for entrance. Now this was confusing. Now, if you are VIP already, why do you need a VIP bracelet to enter to PURCHASE beer at the VIP Beer booth (In previous years, the VIP sticker was enough for entrance in VIP which also had the VIP beer booth in the vicinity)? The security was more tighter with VIP than it was at the admittance area for the general public!
4.And the media area was not fully understood as far as where we needed to be. We just stook a chance while getting stopped at the VIP Beer Booth without a bracelet to find out we were able to get near the stage to click shots.
5.And the exiting of the Park was horrible! People were gridlocked where the Big Screen where the concert was televsied whuich was where the exit/entrance area was. Folk were getting their feet and children stepped on and the pushing to get to the exit was NOT a pretty site. It would have been better if they had blockades in that area for exiting to be much easier.
But we digress
Besides these things, the concert was great.

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