ATLANTA 2001 CONCERT! Written By WAYNE, Keeper of His INNER PEACE
WAYNE, Keeper of His INNER PEACE
Both Friday’s show and Saturday’s show were off the hook. I don't think they had his mic turned up properly during parts of Friday nights show. Vocally he was FLAWLESS Saturday. Maxwell said he was not going to let terrorist scare him. Alicia, who ripped the stage on both night, came out for her encore, spoke about New York being her home and that she was wearing a shirt with burn holes in them(Friday Night) as a symbol to the tragedy, she expressed sadness and instead of singing one of her songs, she sang "We Shall All Be Free" by Donnie Hathaway. She earned a standing ovation - it was a beautiful rendition of that song. Maxwell temporarily lost his mind Friday night!!!! 8~) He ran off the right side of the stage and into the crowd during Fortunate. Security was not prepared for this at all and freaked out. He was just not going to intimated or made to feel afraid. Of course the women in that section were grabbing him but they had all of 5 seconds to do that before security surrounded him and created a path so he could get back on stage. He then ran to the other side of the stage and looked at the crowd as if he was going to do it again but shook his head and decided against it. The amazing thing is he never stopped singing. Saturday night they pulled on his pants during the encore performance but he was never in any danger of being pulled off the stage. Also they gave him money to sign his autograph on, which he did it at the end when the band was introducing themselves. As always, he was very gracious and very appreciative of his fans. I have to stress that vocally he was at his peek Saturday night. If it wasn't so cold and if he sang more songs from Embrya I would have said Saturday's show was equal to the show I saw in '99.
It started with a guitar solo intro to Sumthin, Sumthin. It was either Wah Wah or Hod David. Then the rest of the band joined in. The curtain is still closed. When the curtain opens he’s standing on this huge speaker, minus the cap. The crowd goes BANANAS!!!!!!!! He comes down the stairs and asks Atlanta how we're doing and proceeds to sing Sumthin, Sumthin. Then smoothly goes into Everwanting. After Everwanting he asked the crowd how hot is it tonight? I'm sure this was in reference to the fact that it was cold in Hotlanta Saturday night. He said "we gonna turn this mother out". He thanked everyone for supporting him. Then he said this next song is about life and the appreciation of life. Of course, Lifetime was the next song. He really put some extra umpf into this song. You could tell he was feeling it and the crowd loved it. He then took time to speak to the crowd about the tragedy. He said, "life is a precious thing is it not? You never know when your father is going to call. You never know when you are going to have to go home. So this is your time, your time to experience, your time to see what you trying to say about you and what you trying to know about you. See because when you leave you just look at the points, the points in time in your life when there was no love shown, those are points in red when you look at your life. I don't want to see no red when I die. No red. We've had a crazy week ya'll, I'm not trying to be no preacher, cause I ain't got no box and I'm learning just like you. But I just wanna take a minute in silence for the victims that perished this week, this past week. This senseless crime of intolerance". He asked if we would join him in a moment of silence. After about a minute of silence, the piano begins to play the intro toThis Woman's Work. Of course he blew that song away! Friday night he cried and really didn't sing this song all the way through. Afterward, he said"God bless us all, you know. God bless those that don't know God. This is not religion, this is spirituality, this is what this is about, alright. That's everybody". He then said, “okay let's picked this up, this is for ya'll women…” and went intoChanged. Next he sangTil The Cops Come Knockin'but stopped the band and asked if he was in Atlanta and said turn the lights on! After some back and forth with the crowd about Atlanta he started all over and sang the hell out of TTCK. When he got to the part where he says, "I'm gonna spread you out" he threw the mic stand on the floor. Later in the song, he acts as if he's spankin' that ass using the stand again as a woman. The women lost it!!! After that song he says, "thank ya'll, Good night". People were like, yeah right! Then the music toNow: At The Party begin to play and he let the band kick it and do the entire intro as it is on the CD. It's during this song that he blends in Marvin's song It’s Just Like Music. Again, he said have a good night and took two steps as if was walking off and the crowd went ballistic. He was like what did I forget something? Then you heard the guitar intro to W/as My Girl. He extended this song and really worked it out to sheer perfection. Then he went intoGet To Know Ya, surprisingly this was one of the crowd favorites as everyone was standing on their feet jamming to this bad boy. Then he sang what I consider the flagship song on NOW. He said this song is dedicated to certain people. He said, “actually it's not dedicated to certain people”. For Lovers Only was next. He started and stopped and started talking to the crowd. He was like I don't think we have any lovers in the house tonight. He looked to the side of the stage and said "is the bus ready". The crowd laughed. Then he asked if there were any lovers in the house. Of course everyone went nuts. He started over and again sung yet another song to perfection. You have to hear how he broke this song down at the end. Then he immediately went intoFortunate. Again, on Friday he lost his mind and went into the crowd during this song. Of course this was a crowd favorite. We were standing throughout this 8 to 10 version of the song. This was similar to the end of Gotta Get Closer on Unplugged. He highlighted each musician. Stirred up chants from the crowd. Just turned it into a block party type atmosphere. Again, at the end he said, "good night, God Bless you." Of course the crowd was not hearing that so after about 5 minutes he came back out and again said "did we forgot something." He proceeds to singWhenever, Wherever, Whatever. Of course the ladies had heart attacks all around the venue. The screaming was at an all time high. He added a touch of Spanish to the end and the run you a bath, paint your toenails and feed you Cap'n Crunch lines. When he was done he said thank ya'll very much, goodnight. The crowd still wasn't satisfied. He said "what, I ain't got no more songs." Then he closed the show with Ascension, which sent the crowd into a frenzy. The folks in the pit rush the stage. This song alone with Fortunate where the two that everyone knew and stood and sung. They knew This Woman's Work but very few tried to sing it loud enough to be heard. Also, during one of the songs and I don't know which one he did some kind of contortionist backward bend that drove the women crazy. He brought everyone in the band to the front of the stage and allowed each person to introduce themselves. That was the final curtain call. It was a spectacular evening.
Friday's show was the most eventful as far as the crowd goes. Three women rushed the stage two made it. One was caught by security before she was able to run towards Maxwell and was dragged off the stage. The other two almost got to Maxwell but were detained. One cop literally picked this girl up like she was furniture and started carrying her off while she was kicking and carrying on. Maxwell was not thrilled with how security was handling the women and told the cops, "it's alright, I'm not scared, these are my people." The crowd went ballistic when he said that. He was able to give the girl that was kicking a hug but the other girl was taken away. Another lady fainted or something because she had to be carried out on a stretcher. She was loaded in to an ambulance and taken away. This was all at the very end during his second encore. Latina Webb, his backup singer was looking at these girls as they were being carried away as if in shock. It was this look of amazement mixed with a smirk that said, "what the hell is wrong with these chicks". LOL Saturday night someone gave him a card and some money and he looked at the money and the crowd and shrugged his shoulders. Of course he gave the girl her money back and kept the card.
To sum it up, we had a ball, as you can see the crowd, the vibe, the energy was off the meter! The tragic event of Tuesday was not forgotten in Atlanta. Instead over 6,000 people, very soon the tradegy made a personal decision to celebrate how precious life is. In my humble opinion this was a triumph over fear and terrorism.