Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Concert Review : Smokey Robinson at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA

Every music fan has a bucket list of artists they want to see live. As everyone is aware, there is no guarantee of tomorrow. As an avid concertgoer, I always make it a mission to see legends live whenever they are nearby. Unfortunately, I regret not having the opportunity to see Luther Vandross, Teena Marie, and Prince perform live while they were still alive. That said, when I found out Smokey Robinson would be performing at the MGM National Harbor, I had to see him.


Initially, adult life got in the way, and I had to go out of town on short notice for a business trip the night of the concert. Thankfully, Mr. Robinson was performing fifteen minutes away from my trip the next night. I secured tickets the day of the show and made my way to the show to see the legend himself. 


A local comic opened the show and kept his routine clean out of respect for Mr. Robinson. Finally, it was time for the man of the hour to take the stage! Dressed in a dapper suit, Mr. Robinson was met with thunderous applause from the audience when he took the stage.


Robinson wasted no time in winning over the crowd opening the show with “Being With You” before making his way back to The Miracles performing “I Second That Emotion” and “You Really Got A Hold On Me.” Next was one of Smokey’s signature songs, “Quiet Storm,” which was the perfect segway for a lush performance of “Ooo Baby Baby.” 


Smokey’s vocal on this lush ballad took us to church! The entire felt the sincerity in his voice for the lucky lady he was serenading. Looking around the crowd, I saw a few ladies wiping tears from their eyes. Mr. Robinson then performed a medley of the hits he wrote for his label mates, The Temptations. One of the biggest surprises of the night Smokey going into his later catalog.


“I Love Your Face” from 1991’s Double Good Everything and “If Were Don’t Have Each Other” from his latest project Gasms made their way into the setlist. Robinson also took the time to let the audience know he was working on an album of Spanish love songs and blessed the audience with one of the songs, “La Mirada .” As the night began to wind down, Smokey closed out his with three back-to-back hits, “Just To See Her, “The Tracks of My Tears,” and “Crusin.” For the closing song, Smokey brought two lucky ladies on stage to share a dance with him.


Since Robinson’s catalog is extensive, some of my favorite songs did not make it to the setlist. It would have been great to hear snippets of “I’ve Made Love To You A Thousand Times,” “Daylight & Darkness,” “Let Me Be The Clock,” and “Baby Come Close. Nevertheless, Smokey is a composite performer, and sometimes less is more.


Final Grade: A-

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