Concert Review: Erykah Badu

Thomas & Mack Center, April 6

Oh, on and on … and on and on, we kept waiting for Erykah Badu to sing a song. Energy was high at the Las Vegas Soul Fest thanks to sets by SWV (their harmonies were as sweet as when they first emerged on the scene), 68-year old legend Lenny Williams (he sexually charged the room) and Joe (the ladies nearly pulled him off stage). But it was the lull between Joe and Erykah Badu that killed the vibe. What was initially supposed to be a 15-minute intermission dragged into an hour as a steady stream of concertgoers seemed to get fed up and leave instead of waiting for the soulful songstress.

Was Badu worth the wait? Yes, and the remaining crowd seemed to shake off their perturbed mood when she emerged and launched into “20 Feet Tall,” then caught the audience up on her life via a freestyle song, such as “I had three babies from different dudes.” After “On and On” Badu scared the crowd into thinking it would only be a 15-minute set by saying “That’s all Vegas, I’m tired.” Thankfully it wasn’t true. She performed a mostly throwback set blending song into song, including Badu’s funky solo on an electric drum pad after “Appletree.” “Next Lifetime” continued the jams, and she remarked that being onstage is “my therapy session.” Badu peeled off layers of clothing making one wonder if she’d strip down à la the “Window Seat” video, but really just revealed she was dripping in gold necklaces that sparkled against her black shirt/leggings ensemble as she moved. “I gotta get out of here, thank you and good night,” she falsely warned again. “I hate when I go to a concert and they try and pull that shit,” she added before launching into Tyrone. Ms. Badu, we hate waiting around for performers, but you proved you earned diva status with your musical perfection. ★★★★☆