The mark of a true professional is that they go all out at all times. Whatever the affliction is, personal crisis, weather conditions, technical difficulties, you have to toe the line and perform for the patrons. Last Wednesday, July 25, was an exercise is professionalism, as Tank, Babyface, the O’Jay’s, Patti LaBelle and Maze–the lineup that comprised the Summer Music Festival–all did what they were supposed to do despite less-than-ideal conditions. The challenge faced by each act was one that wasn’t expected from a lineup as stacked as this. At the peak of the show, the venue was still less than half-full.
No indictment on the collective’s ability to sell tickets–as they have all have acquired impressive fan bases during the course of their careers–it just seems that this particular show was under the radar. It happens.
Thankfully, what didn’t happen was that the artists were affected. They fed off the small yet energetic crowd’s energy and turned it into an intimate open-air affair. Tank’s set was a succinct introduction to his talent and catalog, setting the tone for the talent level that was present.
Babyface’s extensive array of hits and classics reminded everyone why he was “that dude” in the ’90s. The medley of songs he composed for others was more then enough to entertain, but the crowd got a bonus jolt as his brother Kevon Edmunds of the group After 7 accompanied his sibling for their first hit collaboration, “Ready or Not.”
When that song concluded, Tank joined the two, and as a trio, they gave new life to Face’s opus for Boyz II Men, “End of the Road,” pulling in the audience even further with a jog around the front orchestra section.
For the latter three acts, LaBelle, the O’Jay’s and Maze, the seats at the Jones Beach Theater could’ve been removed, as they served no purpose. Your two-step gene automatically kicks in for the uptempos (“Feel Like Another One,” “BackStabber” and “Southern Girl’) while the ballads (“Somebody Loves You Baby,” “Stairway to Heaven” and “Can’t Get Over You”) get you swaying left and right. Hopefully we can get this show to stop closer to the city for a second round.
On Aug. 2, comedian Steve Harvey headlines his final standup comedy show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, celebrating the end of more than 27 years in standup comedy. We who aren’t fortunate enough to be in Vegas for the show or the rest of the events of the Hoodie Award Weekend will have a chance to experience the send-off via a live pay-per-view (PPV) telecast, available on cable systems around the country.
The two-hour special farewell performance, “Steve Harvey’s Grand Stand-Up Finale,” will air live from Las Vegas on PPV Aug. 2 at 11 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. PT for $19.95 and is available locally on Time Warner, Cablevision and Comcast. After the live show, fans will still be able to access the special via cable PPV for several months and also on video on demand beginning Aug. 3.
I’m out. Holla next week. ‘Til then, enjoy the nightlife.