BWW Review: 'A Brick House with a New Attitude' The Commodores & Patti LaBelle Meet Ravinia Festival with 'Praise'
It's the summer season, and the music is in the air at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. In one of the most sold and anticipated shows of the season, full of big stars, The Commodores and Patti LaBelle were not going to settle for anything less. It was pretty full crowd anticipating to see "the Queen" Patti LaBelle.
As The Commodores came out on stage, they proved once again that they still know how to party and work a crowd even without Lionel Ritchie. Even though they only played a 45-minute set, they breezed through as many hits as possible. Comprising of original members Williams King, singer and drummer, Walter Orange, who sang the infamous "Brick House," and J.D. Nicholas; together, they are keeping the legacy and the spirit of The Commodores alive.
Some of the standout hits included "Easy," "Three Times A Lady," "Lady," "Too Hot," "Night Shift," and of course "Brick House" which had everyone on their feet singing and dancing.
After the short intermission, the Queen LaBelle proceeded onstage looking as good as ever for being 72 years old. Her voice hasn't changed and she looked as gorgeous as ever. As soon as she walked out and was dancing, the crowd rose to their feet with excitement as she went into "New Attitude."
The evening was full of LaBelle classics with some new twists including a cover of Sam Smith's "Stay with Me," with a very Gospel feel to it, Michael McDonald's "I Keep Forgettin," which features solos from her band members and amazing backup vocalists, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes' "If You Don't Know Me By Now, and R. Kelly's "I Believe I can Fly." Every new arrangement was like being in a church and hearing the gospel praised.
Some of the highlights included "If You Asked Me to," "On My Own," "Love, Need & Want," "U-R-My Friend" and one of her most celebrated songs "Lady Marmalade," which was famously covered for the Moulin Rouge film. This time around, Patti asked random guys to come onstage and try to sing verses of the song. Apparently, only a few could sing. Most of the men just wanted a hug or a kiss from the Queen.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening, sort of like being in church, and it just made you want to get up and dance! She will forever be one of the queens of R&B/Soul and she proved it yet again.
Photos by Russell Jenkins