Posted On 01 Jul 2014
Tag: A Long Walk, Alicia Keys, Anthony Anderson, Bad Habit, BET Awards, BET Experience, BET Experience 2014, Candice Glover, Downtown LA, Fire We Make, Fistful Of Tears, Gimme, Golden, Hate On Me, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, LA Live, Marsha Ambrosius, Mary J Blige, Maxwell, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, OutKast, Progressive, So In Love, Staples Center, Sumthin Sumthin, The Way, This Woman's Work, Trey Songz
Downtown Los Angeles was certainly the place to be and be seen this past weekend for the 2014 BET Experience! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Jill Scott and Maxwell light up Staples Center on Friday, June 27th. As the opening night of the BET Experience, this three-day party at L.A. Live got off to fantastic start!
Opening for Scott and Maxwell were singers Candice Glover and Marsha Ambrosius. The comedian, Anthony Anderson served as host of the evening, presented by Progressive.
The ever-pleasing Jill Scott warmed up the audience with an energetic 75-minute set that drew from her own impressive supply of songs. She was dressed in a sexy, figure-hugging black dress and was aided by a rollicking band and exuberant trio of male background singers.
She proclaimed, “I’m going to sing for you tonight.”
And she did just that. Amidst ongoing shout-outs of “sing, Jill,” she cruised from fun, sassy and self-empowering to frank and love-struck/love-torn on “Gimme,” “The Way,” “So In Love” to “A Long Walk,” “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)” “Hate On Me” and more. Scott brought the house to its feet on a rousing sing-along to “Golden.”
“You put me right back together again,” she sang, grooving near her set’s conclusion. While it ended much too soon, she showcased not only her huge voice but her incredible charisma. Ms. Jill Scott is one performer I can see over and over again.
Next up with the smooth seducer, Maxwell. Through an hour-plus set Friday that showcased hits stretching back to his breathtaking 1996 debut, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, he pumped his pelvis, collapsed on his knees and discussed bodily juices.
Wearing a three-piece black suit, the singer quenched the audience thirst with his catalog of sumptuous hits (“Sumthin Sumthin,” “This Woman’s Work,” “Bad Habit,” “Fortunate” and “Lifetime”) and audience faves (“Stop the World,” “Fistful Of Tears”). He certainly moved through the ballads and mid-tempo jams that made him one of the most promising artists to arrive on the late 1990s R&B scene.
At one point, Maxwell posed a question of the Staples Center crowd, “Are you feeling delicious tonight?”
A resounding chorus of female screams gave Maxwell the answer. His shape-shifting voice that switched from sensuous tenor to heart-melting falsetto wasn’t the only thing captivating audience attention. The limber moves he executed while working the entire stage were quite impressive as well. Those moves were most apparent during Maxwell’s performance of “Fire We Make.” In reaction to videotaped duet partner Alicia Keys singing her verses, he rocked sensually on his knees before flipping into a charged push-up position.
“Thank you so much for being with me all these years … supporting me through my crazy, crazy life,” he said as he wrapped up his powerful and seductive set.
The 2014 BET Experience at L.A. Live’s Staples Center concert series continued on Saturday (June 28th) with a rap lineup headed by Outkast. The duo were joined by A$AP Rocky, Rick Ross, August Alsina, Rich Homie Quan and Ty Dolla $ign. Following the BET Awards on Sunday, June 30th, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz and Jennifer Hudson closed out the Staples concert series, preceded earlier by performances from Mack Wilds, Sevyn Streeter and TGT.