Maxwell’s The Night Tour is R&B Heaven
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Maxwell’s The Night Tour is R&B Heaven

Three vocalists solidified their reputations as modern R&B icons on Saturday, April 2nd, when Maxwell’s The Night Tour made a stop in Chocolate City. JOE, Anthony Hamilton, and headliner Maxwell joined forces to provide Capital One Arena with a night of autotune free singing and R&B classics.

JOE was up first and began his set with “Stutter” before transitioning into “Faded Pictures.” JOE delved through hits from his almost thirty-year career throughout a nearly forty-minute performance. “What If A Woman,” “Good Girls,” “More & More,” “The Love Scene,” and his cameo on Big Pun’s classic “Still Not A Player” were all met with thunderous applause from the adoring crowd. 

Since JOE was not the headliner, he focused on his hits and did not dip too much into the later catalog. I would have loved to hear JOE perform something from 2007’s Ain’t Nothin’ Like Me or 2009’s Signature albums. Nevertheless, JOE’s performance game is still vastly different from some modern singers selling out arenas.

Anthony Hamilton was up next, and the crowd was just as excited for Mr. Hamilton. The North Carolina bred singer kicked the evening off with a one-two punch of “Mama Knew Love” and “Comin From Where I’m From.” Like JOE, Hamilton focused on hits, which had the crowd singing along throughout every song. One of the most surprising things about Hamilton’s time on stage was his pitch-perfect cover of Delany and Bonnie’s “Superstar,” which music fans know was later popularized by The Carpenters and Luther Vandross.  

Finally, it was time for the man of the night, Maxwell, to entertain the audience. Maxwell began his set with “Sumthin Sumthin” and continued to highlight his first album by performing “Dancewitme,” an album track I never thought, I would hear live. Maxwell kept the momentum through a fourteen-song setlist as he performed hits from nearly all his albums. “Bad Habits,” “Lake by the Ocean,” “Lifetime,” and his recent hit “Off” were all on the setlist. Two things were surprising about Maxwell’s performance. He did not perform “Luxury: Cococure” from his second album, a huge Urban Ac hit. 

In addition, his legendary cover of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” was also omitted. Maxwell added energetic covers of Heatwave’s “Always & Forever” and Prince’s “Do Me Baby” to make up for the omission. Maxwell closed out his set with “Ascension” before returning for an encore where he performed the lush ballad “Whenever Wherever Whatever.”

It was a great night with limited waits between acts and three A1 performances.

 

Final Grade: A

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