Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Mary J. Blige fan. I love her music and her realness. She has never appeared to be the kind of celebrity to pretend to be something or someone she’s not for the sake of record sales. Her music speaks to the masses, it’s relatable, and comes from the heart. Hearing this, you can imagine the joy and excitement I felt when hubby purchased us tickets to the King and Queen of Hearts concert featuring Mary and another favorite of mine, Maxwell. My excitement grew to new heights when I saw how incredible out seats were. Center stage floor seats, yes, hubby did well.
We arrived about thirty minutes before the 7:00 show time, but fully expected for the show to start a tad late. Imagine out surprise when the lights dimmed and the opening act took the stage at exactly 7:00 pm. Ro James is a new artist and I’d only heard one song by him titled “Permission.” He sang a couple of other songs before performing the one that was familiar to everyone. Overall he did a great job. Ro James has a smooth voice that thankfully wasn’t created by Auto-Tune. I enjoyed him so much that I’ve since downloaded a couple of his songs.
The surprise of the night was that Mary was not the headliner. We were shocked to see her take the stage after the opening act. That aside, she came out and set the place on fire! She took us on a journey through her years in the music industry. Mary sang with so much passion, so much heart that you couldn’t help but sing and dance along. She spoke of the issues in her life and her determination to always persevere through the hard times. She acknowledged the headlines that were splattered all over the newspapers about her pending divorce and used that platform as a lead in to her latest single, “Thick Of It.” The coup de grace was her performance of my all-time favorite “No More Drama.” To say I was moved emotionally is a serious understatement. Mary J. Blige is more than a singer, the woman is a performer and she put on a hell of a show.
The finale came when Maxwell took the stage. This man’s voice is silk. He jumped back and forth between his more recent music and the old songs that made us all fall in love with him. At one point in his performance, he took a knee with his arms raised towards a big screen and the words from his song “This Woman’s Work” rolled while the music played. Also on the screen were images of the late, great Prince. When Maxwell stood and began to sing, he paid tribute to not only Prince, but Mohamed Ali and other public figures that we’ve lost this year as well. It was a beautiful moment. Maxwell continued with his show and we enjoyed every song. Unfortunately, he ended the show rather strangely. Usually an artist will thank their audience and leave the stage while the band plays on. Maxwell ended the music rather abruptly, and began to call his band members to the stage for introductions one-by-one. The audience wasn’t very receptive and began pouring out of the arena.
All-in-all, the concert was amazing! Everyone was great, but Mary J. Blige stole the show. If this same concert came back to Atlanta again in a month, I’d be right there front and center again.