LIVE: Thanksgiving Super Soul Fest @ The Egg, 11/28/14
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The Thanksgiving Super Soul Fest was a smorgasbord of old-school, exquisite R&B, rap and soul. First up, Fonda Rae was to-die-for gorgeous with a voice to match as she weaved her way through her ’80s club hits like “Over Like a Fat Rat,” “Heobah” and “Touch Me,” not missing a note and, like all the performers, with a DJ backing the vocals. MC Stik-E had the folks at The Egg dancing in their seats between performers. Vocalist Jeff Redd brought back the vocal times of Isaac Hayes and Otis Redding with his distinctive style of soul crooning on numbers like his “I Found Lovin'” and others that hit the charts in the ’90s.
However it was, third-up after the intermission, Kurtis Blow that blew the roof off The Egg with his old-school rap, featuring three break dancers to augment his immense stage presence. The man is now an ordained minister, but the gospel-according-to-rap says it all. He was the first rap artist to be signed to a major international label, and he was the first rapper to make a major mark on inner-city black and white culture. Hey, from the Tom Tom Club to Snoop Dogg he was an influence and a mentor. He was still the man, as far as The Egg show was concerned.
Headliner Al B. Sure closed the three-hour show with his unique blend of romantic song. His immediate and extended family came out in massive support from his birthplace in Mount Vernon to totally support his efforts on stage.
We sometimes forget the great talent of soul/R&B artists who have been overlooked as time goes by. This was an eye-opening performance and a tribute to artists that still have talent and some name recognition for their generation. They still have something to give to the music community; if they were only given a chance to do it again. Were they not great vocal artists who had national hits in the first place? So why are they left behind in the popular music culture? This evening showed that they’ve still got it, and that the music still lives on, especially when hundreds sang right along with many of the tunes. It was a great evening of music and song.