Let me say this upfront – I abhor Yoshi’s no photo and video policy. To sum it up – it sucks. There have been a few times I’ve violated this policy because, I mean come on, I blog about music.
So it was a pleasant surprise when it was announced that Eric Roberson was encouraging everyone to take photos and videos of his show. This, I think, made for one of the best experiences I’ve had at Yoshi’s in Oakland.
I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed as hard at a concert as I did during Eric’s show on Friday. I mean, he had the audience rolling the entire time!
His backup singer – well, he was part singer, part hype man – was hilarious as well. These two really could have a comedy show.
This is my second time seeing Eric perform (the first was back in May of 2011 at the same venue), and, as with the first time, it was money well spent. I cannot begin to tell you how underrated he is as both a singer and performer.
Listen to any one of his albums – he has 10 – and you will agree he is in a small league of individuals that truly encompass what R&B used to back in my mama’s day (Kenny Lattimore, Musiq, Anthony Hamiliton, Anthony David and Maxwell are a few others that quickly pop into my mind).
Lyrically, he’s better than most high-profile R&B singers selling millions these days (Usher, Chris Brown and Trey Songz come to mind). Don’t get me wrong, I like their music – well Usher and Chris – but Eric’s songs take you a bit deeper than the aforementioned artists. I equate him to Marvin Gaye – smooth and seductive with a message thrown in every now and again.
Since I last wrote about Mr. Roberson, I’ve become more familiar with his music, but I still don’t know him like I should. This actually worked in my favor as I was able to actually sit back and take in his entire act. Usually, I’m busy trying to sing along while simultaneously taking notes, photos and videos.
After clowning around and saying he was going to begin, and then begin for real, and then really begin, he started the set with Mr. Nice Guy.
He dedicated Borrow You to all the DJs that “get us in trouble.” By “us” he meant men because at the end of Borrow You Eric went over some rules men should follow when they go to the club with their boys. This was, by far, the best comedic moment of the evening. (Watch the “rules” here. It starts at minute seven.)
During Borrow You, Eric also had great ad libs, including, “You rubbed your booty on me just far too many times. And I’m trying to keep an honest mind. If you rub your booty on me girl one more time, the man in me might start to speak his mind. So I need you to walk away.”
Sarah from Oakland filled in for Lalah Hathaway on Dealing, and fortunately, she could sang! In classic Eric form, he picked a dude from the audience, set up a scenario for Sarah and asked her to bear her soul to a perfect stranger. And that she did magnificently!
The last time I saw him he solicited crazy words from the audience and created a song on the spot. Friday was no different. The words thrown out were juxtaposition, socks are an aphrodisiac, Pilates, and surreptitious. Click here for the end result. I’m calling the song Socks Are an Aphrodisiac.
Overall, Eric has been added to my list of artist I most definitely will make an effort to see every time he’s in town. He is just that great of a performer.
Have you ever had an Eric Roberson experience?