’08 was another good year for concerts

I had another busy year attending concert after concert. It began back in January with a Chris Botti show at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. What a way to begin a new year!

The show was so good that I ended my concert year at Yoshi’s in Oakland seeing none other than Chris Botti.

Here’s what I thought about the concerts I attended in ’08 – starting with what I feel was the best concert, and then the next best and so on:

Mary J. Blige & Robin Thicke – Oct. 18, 2008, Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, CA: Hands down, this was the best concert I attended in 2008. The energy Mary had is still stuck in my head. She looked fantastic and sounded flawless. Mary covered most of the songs I wanted to hear and I left the Pavilion pumped and excited. I still have flashbacks when I’m listening to Just Fine, Hurt Again and My Life.

Kenny Lattimore – July 3, 2008, Yoshi’s, Oakland: My first time seeing him and he blew me away. Kenny is such an underrated and underappreciated artist, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to see him at an intimate venue. I still get goose bumps when I think about him singing I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know. Whew!

After seeing Kenny, I began this blog, so you could say he inspired to me to stop talking and start doing!

The Real Thing Tour featuring Jill Scott and Raheem DeVaughn, Feb. 8, 2008, Paramount Theatre, Oakland: Jill Scott is the kind of artist who gives her all when she performs. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve seen her live, but each time, she gets better and better.

This go round, she was more laid back and relaxed, and her concert vibe was really mellow. Still, that voice is something of a natural wonder. Mariah Carey has nothing on Jill Scott.

Heart of the City Tour featuring Mary J. Blige & Jay-Z – April 21, 2008, Oracle Arena, Oakland: This concert was postponed by a day, but it didn’t matter. The arena was packed to see two of the best artists out now. Mary and Jay created a show that appeased fans of both performers. Whether they were on stage together or separate, they both kept the energy of the crowd going the entire time.

The only thing bad about this show were my seats. Never again will I sit in the nosebleed section!

Chris Botti – January 22, 2008 Yoshi’s San Francisco; Dec. 13, 2008, Yoshi’s Oakland: I think I’m in love with this man – for real. He plays the trumpet like it’s nobody’s business! He has one of the best bands I’ve ever seen and listening to him play takes my mind to another place. I’ve seen him open for Earth, Wind and Fire, and play with the San Francisco Symphony, but I really felt his music seeing him at Yoshi’s. Oh, and Chris is really funny!

Maxwell & Jazmine Sullivan – Oct. 28, 2008, Paramount Theatre, Oakland: It’s been years since Maxwell has released any new material, but did that matter to the sold out crowd in Oakland? Heck no! Even without all that hair Maxwell didn’t miss a beat. His performance is always high-quality and one always leaves the concert wanting to go home and do a few things with their significant other.

Musiq & Ledisi – Sept. 18, 2008, The Warfield, San Francisco: This show should have been headlined by Ledisi. I love Musiq – I own all of his albums – but this just wasn’t his night. As I previously wrote, I don’t know if it was the band or he was just having an off night, but had it not been for Ledisi, I would have left the concert really disappointed.

Ledisi, on the other hand, has a voice that’s mesmerizing. She’s another artist who is underappreciated and should be selling millions of records.

Amel Larrieux – Sept. 19, 2008, Yoshi’s Oakland: I’m not a big fan of Amel, but when a friend asked if I wanted to go, I said “Why not?” With her low-key style and light voice, I enjoyed the show.

The Flamingo Hotel Presents Toni Braxton – Feb. 14, 2008, Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas: Now this is bad – I only remembered going to this concert after looking back at all my ticket stubs for the year. I saw Braxton right before she cancelled her run in Vegas due to health issues – and it showed during the performance.

Braxton struggled throughout the entire show and had it not been for the audience singing along, the show would have stalled. I wish I could have received a refund.

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