Erykah Badu kicked off her summer tour in DC and came right here to good ol’ Baltimore.
“My top record sales are in DC and Baltimore is always second. But shows always sell out first in Baltimore, then DC,” Erykah boasted during her meet and greet after the show.
The entire show was powerful, electrifying, energetic and just good music.
Janelle Monae started the show by hyping the crowd up. Her tiny frame yet robust personality had the crowd on their feet.
Next up was N.E.R.D. I was chillin’ with them backstage just minutes before they hit the stage. Pharrell, Chad and Shae were real chill. They were excited about the release of their upcoming album Nothing, set to now be released July 6. The energy in the green room was crazy but they made it a point to pray before their set. “Put down that devil’s nectar and let’s pray,” Pharrell shouted.
N.E.R.D. wanted everyone to be on their feet during the entire performance but no prompting was necessary. Singing hits like “Beautiful” and “Lapdance” – their first single that put them on the map – made it impossible to sit still.
And finally Ms. Badu hit the stage. She entered the stage in a black trench coat, top hat and these eclectic gold wing-like earrings that met at her chin. She later shed that look and underneath was a peach pleated dress. She covered songs like “Feet Fall”, “Umm Hmm” and “Out My Mind, Just In Time” from her latest album New Amerykah, Part Two: Return of the Ankh. In the mix were several of her more popular songs over the years. It was odd to see so many men in the crowd singing along to each and every song just as much, if not more, than the ladies. She ended the set with, of course, “Window Seat.”
After the show was an intimate meet and greet with station winners. I say intimate because she was dressed simply in a robe. She invited the group of about 20 people into her dressing room to have a seat on the floor and just talk. Fans were able to ask questions and take pictures. Author and radio host Michael Eric Dyson and his wife left the dressing room as we entered. He described Badu as the epitome of a proud, talented and intelligent woman that is rare within music nowadays.
During the session her crew was there to film portions a documentary she has been working on.
Among the topics discussed were religion and the premise behind the highly controversial “Window Seat” video.
“I love you guys so much. You have no idea how much love Baltimore has shown me over the years and that’s why I will always show ya’ll love,” Erykah expressed to the small group. She has been here 12 times to perform for Baltimore.
Badu says that she puts out an album every now and then but performing live on stage is what she lives for.
To check out what cities the tour will roll through next, click here.