I had the honor of attending “Last Bash B4 Class” on Aug. 16th not only in great support of my right hand, Zuri “DJ Geek” Stone, but also to enjoy the plethora of artists gracing the stage. The event was scheduled to start at eight but due to the sound guy arriving well after the start time (this can’t even be blamed on “CP” time) it was slightly delayed.
In the unexpected interim, the hum of chatter and laughter could be heard throughout Mill Creek Tavern as drinks were poured steadily. I’m almost certain that the majority of the laughter was because of the bartender. He was an older gentleman–surely someone’s grandfather–who used every pick up line and come on possible with female patrons. As I ordered a “Sex on the Beach” for a friend, he leaned in close, smiled crookedly and asked if that’s what I really wanted. “What do you mean?”, “Sex on the Beach. Do you want to have sex the beach?”.
Once the announcement was made that the entertainment would start momentarily, the crowd settled in and prepared for the collection of Hip Hop, Neo Soul and R & B artists to hit the stage. True to form, DJ G33k provided the featured vendors, Karma Kollections, CraigArts, Stay Cool and Kilam Couture the opportunity to give the audience some background on their brands and their mission. The showcase took off from there. The lovelies, who always do their thing every time I’m blessed to see them perform–Charmane Martin, Phoenix, Philly SK and Mel Alston Jr.–did a wonderful job of rocking the stage and the I’m happy to say that the love actually flowed last night!
You all know how I feel about this.
To add to my delight, Phoenix performed the same ballad that she let me listen to when I interviewed her–the one I got lost in–“Know 4 Sure”. Check out a snippet of it:
Mel performed “Come Back Down”, a song that I’ve been listening to on repeat via You Tube because the video gets me so damn emotional. Check out a snippet from his performance:
Zeek was another artist whose performance I experienced for the first time that evening. I’ve listened to his song “Separate” countless times now so I was really excited to see him perform live! Check out a snippet of his performance:
Between the “good vibrations” from Bamboo’s performance and the energy
of D Billz, I was definitely feeling the showcase…and the drinks. Listen, Phoenix put me on to Honey Jack Daniels and Coke and it changed my life! Shout out to her for that and shout out to both Bamboo and D Billz for their performances!
Now, two standout performances for me were Janina Simone and VeNt.
Janina Simone began singing the intro to India Arie’s “Ready for Love”, and I instantly made my way closer to the stage. I absolutely love the song and quite frankly, if she messed it up I’m pretty sure I would have been pissed. Little did I know, Ms. Simone vocals are the most crisp, controlled, melodic pieces of heaven I’ve encountered in some time. Her stage presence was serene and yet intensely passionate; it was as if the person that the song is about—the person that she was ready to love—was in the room and she wanted to maintain her composure, but send her message. She wasn’t just an artist singing for an audience, she was a woman declaring that her heart was ready and able to handle the love she so badly wanted…even needed. Check out a snippet of her performance below and head over to ConcreteCakes.com to read my exclusive interview with her.
VeNt was the last act to perform and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. They COMPLETELY rocked the house. The crowd didn’t have an option to sit–the Congo’s wouldn’t allow it and the bass damn sure wouldn’t. That had to be one of the top live performances that I’ve seen this summer. I was way too caught up in their performance so I wasn’t able to stand still long enough to get video. Visit their website here to check out their music and be sure to follow Toby, the lead singer, on Twitter by clicking here!
A special shout out to DJ G33k, Charmane Martin, Sowell Entertainment and all of the artists and vendors who came out!
– Sincerely Syreeta