“What kind of name is Kem for a man anyway?” teased the two-time Grammy-nominated singer as he playfully mocked the assumptions of men in the audience jealous of his musical effects on the ladies. And on this night, you couldn’t deny Kem’s power. He performed with his nasally soulful voice and smooth crooning to a packed crowd.
Kem sang “You’re on My Mind” with commentary urging men in the audience to tell their women confidently and romantically how they felt. “Find Your Way” was performed with an isolated solo by one particular audience member who had a little trouble with the lyrics. With the help of wonderful instrumentals by his saxophone and trumpet players, Kem also performed “Golden Days” and “Share My Life.”
Paying homage to the old-school soul music he grew up on, Kem allowed his backup singers to perform solo sets of the Emotions’ “Best of My Love,” Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love” and Rufus’ “Sweet Thing.” Keeping with the mood, Kem then took on the late Luther Vandross’ “Never Too Much.” The spirited crowd sang along.
Saving his most popular songs for last, Kem performed “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Love Calls” before exiting and leaving the audience satisfied by a night of soulful and sexy music, which included spoken-word poetry, spiritual testimony and an overwhelming theme of love. ★★★☆☆