Posts Tagged ‘LG Arena’

MJB @ The NEC, November 3, Wifey & Me

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Mary J Blige:

  • Queen of Hip Hop Soul
  • Survivor
  • Diva
  • Amazon
  • Owner of a stunning array of wigs, weaves & hairpeices (if you don’t believe me, you’ve obviously not seen any of her videos!)

The lady possessing the finest thighs in music strode into town to give it some.
It was our first time at the new(ish)-ly renovated LG Arena – clearly money went into extending the building, although the arena itself is still essentially a large shed.
Despite the cash spent on the refurb, my wife was singularly unimpressed, not least with the DJ stationed in the atrium. I was quite nonplussed with it – he seemed okay, neither here nor there.

We got to our seats during the last track of one of the support acts (some shouty MC or something). Again, The Missus – unimpressed.
Next up – Gyptian.

(I found a Youtube link to a video  from Wego Entertainmanent)
Skinnier & younger than his voice seems to suggest. As with most JA artistes, he performed with an easy confidence & cocky charm. It was a great performance, although marred by the tech bods ‘overcooking’ the PA sound. This was something dogging the all the support acts (ironically, as I play clubs but struggle with loud music).

Last of the support was Lemarr. He put on a fairly well polished set & like Gyptian got the crowd going, despite his vocals getting swamped at times by the PA.

Mary J then finally arrived. All wannabe divas-in-waiting & X-Factor hopefuls should go & see her in action: only 1 costume change plus a semi-acoustic set in a 2 hour trek through her extensive back catalogue. She didn’t so much take to the stage as instantly command the entire auditorium with an incredibly tight backing band. I was even allowed by The Wife to marvel (albeit briefly) at how Ms B poured herself into a sequinned catsuit.
There was no need for superfluous frills. This included the eye candy in the form of 2 male dancers, appearing for 2 songs & their sole purpose seemed to be striding on stage, pose for a few bars, hold their crotches before striding off. I do however accept there were loads of women (and more than a few men) who would disagree with me. Mary J DID look good in the cat suit, so fair’s fair I suppose.
In contrast to the ear-shredding sound mix of the support acts, the sound was good for the main event.

(another Wego Ent video link)
The only fly in the ointment was during one of the ballads. She clearly brings raw emotion to her songs, many of them deeply autobiographical, but the emotion displayed during the closing adlib seemed forced. That said, given the life experiences she’s endured, it’s a minor point, especially given the length of her stage time.

All in all a great show, terrific value for money. We’d already seen her once before, so let’s see if we can go 3 for 3…………………..