I began my Fourth of July weekend with one of the most underrated vocalist of my time — Kenny Lattimore. I purchased tickets to the first of his eight shows at Yoshi’s in Jack London Square, Oakland (there’s a newly-opened version in San Francisco), and spent the entire week excited about spending an evening with a man whose voice I enjoy listening to.
I love Yoshi’s. The venue is intimate and there’s not a bad seat in the house. The sound is always perfect and everyone I’ve seen perform there has always been on point.
I also love Kenny, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen him live, so the fact that I was blessed with the opportunity to see him at Yoshi’s was exhilarating.
From the first note, Kenny had me hooked. “Come to me/Come closer/I’m feeling your love/All over,” he sang — and I sang right along with him (not as loud as I usually do when I go to a live show because, as I stated before, Yoshi’s is intimate and I didn’t want the couple sitting next to me to say, ‘Hey, we came to hear Kenny sing, not you.’
From Come To Me (off his third album Weekend) he moved onto Days Like This (on From The Soul of Man). The transition was seamless and the audience was into him from beginning to end.
Other songs he delved into included Climb the Mountain, Never Too Busy, I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (which sent chills all up and down my spine!) and Beautiful Girl (from the The Best Man soundtrack).
Kenny has a voice that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. When he sang “If I ever leave you baby/You can say I told you so/And if I ever hurt/You know I’d hurt myself as well” it felt like he was singing from a personal experience that has stayed with him despite being married for more than seven years.
Nothing is better than seeing an artist sing with so much raw emotion that you feel it in your soul.
Kenny took probably his most well-known song, For You, and sung a different version, which had a more gospel-feel to it. He then launched into the version we all know and love. The show’s closer, Weekend, was just what the audience needed to get amped for the drive home.
At the show’s end, Yoshi’s announced that the first 50 patrons who wanted to stay for the 10 o’clock show would be admitted. Seeing as though my girl and I didn’t have to work the next day, we jumped at the opportunity. And I’m so glad we did!
The 10 o’clock show was much better than the 8 o’clock (and lasted a lot longer), and even Kenny alluded to this when he said he rushed through the first show because he was so focused on time. During the short break in between shows, it appeared him and his band (who sounded phenomenal and was easy on a sista’s eyes) regrouped and were better prepared this time around.
At the end of his set, Kenny obliged the audience by taking requests (thanks to the sistagirl who asked for my all-time favorite Can’t Get Enough from the Love Jones soundtrack). Other requests were Forgiveness, Make Believe and an a cappella version of Well Done. If you haven’t heard this song (it’s on From the Soul of Man), look it up on iTunes and just imagine what it sounds like sans music.
I won’t speak on the woman who sung a duet with him (I think she forgot she was singing with a married man).
In addition to sounding better than his CDs, Kenny is sexy as hell! Yes, that is Chante’s (Moore) man, but good lawd he looks delicious in person! He had an engaging personality and the crowd was really into what he had to say.
If Kenny comes to your area, definitely check him out. The money you spend is worth every last cent.
During the show, Kenny said his new album is called Timeless, and should be out soon. (There’s are still tickets available for his Yoshi’s performance on July 6.)
Because he’s married to a fellow singer, he said the couple spent the last few years focusing on Chante’s album. Being the loving and supportive husband he is, he plugged her album — Love the Woman.