By: Nydja Hood
“Go ahead and free yourself,” Fantasia declared, and a freeing show it was.
On Thursday August 3, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Fantasia put on a liberating show at the Dell Music Center.
“Singing Under the Stars” finalist Suzann Christine warmed up the crowd with a performance of her single “Save Me,” and made her mark by having the audience echo back “Who Dat? SuDat!,” ensuring that although a brief performance, her name itself would be everlasting on the Dell stage.
Babyface slid onto the stage with effortless grace and suave. Wearing a purple blazer and sunglasses, the singer’s set was filled with a variety of hits. Although he had the audience wrapped around his finger with “Whip Appeal,” this was only the beginning. Babyface performed a medley of his greatest hits, both of which he’s performed himself and has written for other artists. From “Can We Talk” performed by Tevin Campbell to “My, My, My” performed by Johnny Gill, and “Roni” performed by Bobby Brown, Babyface’s songwriting portfolio is very impressive. Some of the songs may even surprise you. He closed his set with a suitable yet groundbreaking performance of “End of the Road,” when he went into the audience to part ways with the Dell stage the right way.
Fantasia is a force to be reckoned with. She started off strong with her performance of “Free Yourself” that the fans seemed to love, and sang back to her in an echo. Although the singer is a powerhouse herself, she made sure to give ode to another one who came before her…Tina Turner.
“We decided we wanted to bring y’all some good, good music, is that alright?”
Fantasia made sure she got the audience’s seal of approval before going into a performance of “Rolling on the River.” She channelled her inner Tina with energetic dance moves and backup singers who knew how to keep up to speed with harmonies. Fantasia’s backup singers refused to hide in the shadows and demonstrated that their vocals were equally worthy of the spotlight. They showed off their vocals during a singing break before the Tina tribute began, and definitely solidified their place on the Dell stage. Fantasia ended just as strong as she started with a tribute to the great James Brown.
She got into character with a sparkly red cape, and shooed away security, allowing her to get as intimately close to the audience as possible. She immersed herself into the crowd, performing the James Brown classic “It’s a Man’s World.” However, her performance certainly proved otherwise.