By Shannon Natasha Hsu
You could feel the expressions of joy and soul pulsating through the music, bodies dancing in celebration the moment you walked into Prospect Park’s Lena Horne Bandshell on Friday.
Erykah Badu was the featured performer for BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! and everyone in attendance showed out with some incredible outfits in an attempt to at least match the Badu’s energy and creative vibe.
The beauty and brilliance of Badu in Brooklyn was a combination to behold– the epitome of diversity and unity and a testament to the lasting power and reach of Erykah Badu’s music.
Phony Ppl kickstarted the night with an energetic show and an enigmatic band that truly had the crowd cheering, bouncing and ready for the main draw card: the majestic Erykah Badu.
In between the two acts, the crowd melted and swayed as the DJ kept the crowd satiated with Afrobeats, R&B and hip hop blasting through the speakers.
With Erykah scheduled to be on at 8:30pm, the park was packed with hundreds of people standing shoulder to shoulder, taking up every inch of the park by 8:00.
Nearly 90 minutes after her schedule show time, Erykah Badu’s band walks on to the stage and proceeds to give an incredible drum and bongos introduction. Then the back up singers enter looking in blue jumpsuits, like they are wearing scrubs. Super cute!
Five minutes later, Badu makes her entrance, walking on stage right, wearing basketball shorts, Balenciaga sneakers and a full length multi-colored cape made of sparkling strips of fabric, her hair out and donning her signature Thom O’Brien top hat.
The crowd erupts as she stops and poses before heading to the middle of the stage.
The show featured a dazzling display of lights, visuals and audio that added a layer of theatrics to her voice and her music. Plus Badu showed off her production skills by playing a MIDI mixer during her set with keyboard and guitar.
The show was tight, with Badu displaying incredible control of her band and her music, interjected with humor and crowd participation.
Even with the 75-min delay, the audience definitely got what they came for.
Her voice was on point, and the show proved a marvelous homage to both her music and devoted fans.