As we waited for her to grace the stage, a young man named Gramps Morgan (solo reggae singer) who opened up the show, was quite good. He is the son of reggae artist, Denroy Morgan. He sang a few songs, and entertained the audience. I also looked around at the crowd, and I was very delighted to see such a mixture of people; young and older, different races, and more surprisingly, a great deal of men. Many of them were not alone, with their wife or significant other, but it was nice to see.
Her "Songversation" Tour is just that, songs and conversation collectively that made for a very spiritual and emotional evening. From my perspective, you have to be in a certain state of mind for a India Arie concert. If you are expecting some booty shaking, an entourage of dancers, special effects, stage props etc, you will not get that here, but that's a good thing, because her show is so much more than that. It is all about India, her audience, and what she wants you to feel and experience as she takes you on a spiritual journey with her music and conversation.
I particularly liked how she opened with her message to us, about what she hoped we would take away from her show. Not many artists do this, (at least none that I have seen in recent memory) and she did it with such grace and class. She literally prepared your mind and body for what she was about to do. When she walked out on the stage, she appeared a bit shy at first, but as she began to speak and talk a little about her life's challenges prior to creating "Songversation" I knew I was about to witness something special from her, and she delivered.
Because she is on tour, I am going to leave some details out (I don't want to spoil too much, in case you are planning to see her), because she did some amazing things at this show. A special moment for me was, when she began doing what I like to call "spiritual dancing" during some of her songs. It was so on point, considering the type of show it was.
Of course she did some of her new with a mix of her old songs, opening with, "I Am Light", followed by,
"This Little Light of Mine"
"I Am Not My Hair" (The audience went wild when she sang this, because she did something really incredible that took everyone by surprise), that is all I will tell!
"Flowers" (from her new CD) I love this song, and she related this tune to family, whether it be blood relatives, friends, co-workers etc.
'The Morning After" - heartbreak and healing; she was so eloquent when she spoke about this
"The Truth" - one of my favorites, and she along with her back up singers performed this with a twist, so it took me by surprise, because at first I did not recognize it, but I loved how they changed it up.
"Brown Skin" - audience went wild
and then she left the stage, audience went wild again, asking for an encore, and she returned singing,
what I thought was the most beautiful song she sang all night (and she did a super job with all her songs)
"Ready For Love" from her Acoustic Soul CD, the way she performed this, literally brought me to tears!
Another notable thing she did, was tell us about the projection screen behind her that she had been waiting and hoping for. The images on the screen were reflections of her music and conversation. She loves the outdoors, nature, the sea, etc, and she wanted to present that to her audience as she performed. In addition to the images, there were spiritual quotes displayed as well. Very nice addition to the show!
Towards the very end of the evening, the crowd was starting to thin out, so I eased my way up closer to get the best pics I could. Not an easy task, when there are other fans trying to do the same, but there was a lady standing in front of me who saw what I was trying to do, so she leaned slightly to the left, which allowed me to get some really good shots, without the flash!
"SoulBird", so fitting for such an incredibly talented young lady. She lit up the Keswick theater with her musical gift. The messages in her songs are all a reflection of many aspects of my own life and I am sure for others. Not taking anything away from other female artists, but India Arie, brings a whole new meaning to performing live in front of an audience. She was gentle, laid back, but often times expressed energy when she sang. She was also very poised and confident when speaking about her musical journey. Speaking from a woman's perspective, we all still have that "little girl" in us no matter how old we get, and a few times you would see that in her when she spoke, but that only illuminated her true inner beauty. Many artists will talk to their audience before and during a performance, but she adds a whole new dimension to reaching out and pulling her fans in to her music and who she is as a woman. I loved every minute of this show, and if she were here for another night, I would have been there for sure. I have only been to the same concert twice in one weekend in my entire life, and that was to see the late Michael Jackson, and I would have done the same for India Arie.
I am very much looking forward to seeing her again in the future, and I hope I get to meet her and express to her how life changing her show was for me. She will forever be my"spiritual sister"...
Do you have a favorite India Arie Song? Have you ever seen her live? Your thoughts and comments are welcome!