Maze Feat. Frankie Beverly, Isley Brothers & Kem at Toyota Center, 8/16/2013
Soulful, upbeat sounds in combination with sultry "baby-making music" combed through the spirits of the reminiscing concertgoers at Friday's Bounce TV Music Festival, a delightful exhibition of timeless rhythm and blues by two timeless acts, the Isley Brothers and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.
"This one is for the lovers," said Kem, the youngster among Friday's trio of performers. "Where are the lovers tonight? I want to see the couples," Kem stated as he began to sing the lyrics to the love ballad "Share My Life.
He also added an element of comedy to his performance when he said, "I sing these songs for the ladies... but I'm working for the fellas. My hope is that once you put on the Kem record, 50 percent of your work is done."
Cheers rang throughout the Toyota Center as Ernie Isley took the stage dressed in vibrant red, wielding his guitar as if it were a championship trophy. Just when it seemed as though the maximum crowd volume had been reached, however, Ronald Isley appeared in the center spotlight surrounded by two beautiful dancers, his black tuxedo and black-lacquer cane only enhancing his persona of Mr. Biggs.
The Notorious Mr. Big (left)
The melody of "Between the Sheets" soothed the crowd as the song bridged the generational gap by mixing in sounds from the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa," which samples the Isley Brothers' hit. This preceded another widely sampled Isley Brothers number, "Footsteps In the Dark," which you may remember as the foundation of one of Ice Cube's biggest hits, "It Was a Good Day." After Mr. Biggs took a brief second to introduce brother Ernie, he pulled a stool from the shadows and the crooning ensued.
Toward the latter part of the Isleys' performance, Ron ventured into a few of the successful songs he created with the self-proclaimed "Pied Piper of R&B," R. Kelly. First was "Down Low," in which Kelly carries on an affair with the wife of Mr. Biggs, followed by "Contagious," where the dangerous liason continues.
Review continues on the next page.