April 14th - Kem and Ledisi at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC. The opening act was a guy named "Cartier". He touted himself as a smooth artist, but smooth consisted of him singing his name over and over. Definitely would NOT have been my choice as an opening act for such great performers as Kem and Ledisi. Hopefully, Cartier stayed around to learn firsthand what "Smooth" is all about. Ledisi came on stage in a black mini with high, high, high stiletto red pumps. Fantastic. The woman has some serious pipes and showcased her talent magnificently. The only downsides were that she kept mentioning that she was four time grammy nominee and she sang with her back to the audience much of the time, facing her drummer alot. The audience was in a Kem "intimacy" mood so her energy, while wonderful, didn't have the audience on their feet as she had hoped. Her final song, "Alright", brought people to their feet. After a ten minute intermission, Kem came on and lit the place up. He reminded me of Jackie Wilson, Nat King Cole, or Johnny Mathis with the suit he was wearing. Slim legged trousers and suit jacket. His band was complete with horns and vocalists, a first, according to people who had seen him before. There are no words to describe what happened next. Kem took me to another world. His voice was magical, romantic, sexy, sensuous. It is so refreshing to hear an artist who actually sounds like the record! Every song he sang put me in "the mood". Ledisi joined him on stage for "If It's Love" and they were terrific together. Of course, my favorites were "Share My Life", "Why Won't You Stay", and "When Love Calls Your Name". I felt myself holding my man tighter and tighter as the night went on. Kem did not disappoint!!! If you don't have his CDs, RUN to the store or buy them on line. If Kem comes to your area, buy your tickets! He has truly given me hope in live concerts again!
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