Iconic singer & balladeer Brian McKnight made a stop at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, on Thursday, September 13th, for a night filled with love songs and musicianship. McKnight’s current live show title is “The Brian McKnight” 4. It features McKnight on vocals and a backing band with a drummer, guitar player, and a bass player. McKnight opened the show with the up-tempo “Genesis” from his 2017 album Genesis. He then reached back into his catalog to perform “You Should Be Mine (Don’t Waste Your Time).” McKnight’s specialty is love songs and slow jams. However, opening the show with up-tempo material was an excellent move for McKnight, as the audience had a chance to see how talented of a musician he is.
Opening the ballad portion of his show with “The Only One For Me,” followed by one of my personal favorites, “Love Of My Life.” McKnight then informed the audience that he wanted to take us on a journey through his twenty-six-year career. McKnight achieved this feat by performing a medley of songs from each album he has released.
Highlight’s in the medley included McKnight’s debut single “The Way Love Goes,” his soulful cover of Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” and the mellow, “6,8,12”. Following the medley, McKnight paid homage to some of the artists we have lost over the years.
My favorite part of the night would have to be when McKnight decided to perform lesser-known songs from his catalog. I have always been a firm believer that no matter what the music genre, artists never release their best material as singles. McKnight performed “You” from his second album I Remember You that I have always loved. With a catalog as expansive as McKnight’s, there will always be a chance that some of your favorite songs will not make the setlist, which was the case tonight. I would have loved to hear snippets of “Love Is,” “Used To Be My Girl,” and “My Kind Of Girl.”
As the night began to wind down, McKnight closed out the show with his signature song “Back At One,” followed by the crowd favorite Fall 5.0. I have had the pleasure of seeing Brian McKnight live five times, and his show never gets old. It is a common misconception that R&B music is dead. However, The Brian McKnight” Four show puts that rumor to rest.
Final Grade B+