Charlie Wilson, Erykah Badu & the O'Jays at The Woodlands, 5/31/2014

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Photos by Jody Perry
"Uncle" Charlie Wilson (center, in shades) and friends
Note: Eddie Levert was originally identified as his late son Gerald. Rocks Off regrets the error.

Magic 102.1 Under the Stars
Featuring Charlie Wilson, Erykah Badu & the O'Jays
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 31, 2014

On a night of classic and modern R&B at a packed house in The Woodlands, with perfect summer weather of clear skies and temperatures below the 80s, Majic 102.1's Under the Stars concert was a powerhouse lineup with more No. 1 hit songs than you can shake a 2014 Free Press Summer Fest at. It was a night of baby-making music where those who had made babies, along with the babies they made, were out to make even more babies.

The night's performances jump-started with a defibrillator-like zap with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers and Sound of Philadelphia alums the O'Jays. The classic vocal R&B trio -- dressed in matching white suits featuring jackets with exposed chests, satin frills, fringe at the wrists and sequins -- came with a full band, complete with horn section. They launched onstage with the vigor of acts one-third their age with the 1975 hit "Give the People What They Want."

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The O'Jays
Instead of hoping the band would play a particular song, the ready-to-party Saturday-night crowd ate up anything the O'Jays played by singing along to every last word. Only during the ballads did the group's energy diminish, giving the older folks a needed break.

During "Cry Together," the audience sang in harmony so well that a choir might as well have shown up to accompany the group onstage. At one point, distracted by a groupie at the edge of the stage, Eddie Levert lost his place and said, in his come-on tone of voice, "Damn, woman. You made me forget what I was trying to say," as he laughed and rubbed his thighs and chest is a sexy way. The O'Jays delivered much more than what might be expected from a band that's been around since 1958.

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Erykah Badu
Next, Erykah Badu came to the stage with a force and aura matching the night's music-industry veteran acts, setting the mood with a nonstop set of soul, electronic funk and hits. Wearing a shawl featuring the eye in the dollar bill's pyramid over a torn T-shirt and several medallions dripping down her chest - plus a skirt, leggings, a top hat and white basketball shoes with long blue feathers stuffed into the back of one - she looked like an R&B version of Alice in Wonderland's the Mad Hatter.

Sometimes she would stop the entire band in mid-song to dramatic and sometimes comical effect. She paused the intro to "Window Seat" to hilariously eat "one chip and [have] one sip" of whatever was in her coffee cup, then cued her band to pick up where they left off. Though she said she hadn't played in a venue as large as The Woodlands in a long while, you couldn't tell from how she grooved and blew the multigenerational crowd away with reinterpreted songs old and new.


Review continues on the next page.


Location Info

Map

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX

Category: Music


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2 comments
rovimachine
rovimachine

So now this loser is boring everyone with his reviews on shows? Isn't this the same dude who talks shit about every other musician in town even though he himself sucks ass? He has a draw of about 5 people and those are his friends. What a burn out.

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