Bobby Brown Saves the Show!

All weekend I meant to post about last Friday's concert and I never got around to it. Let's just say that the weather hitting 90 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday seriously inhibited my ability to type more than five words at a time. I even got a sunburn!

So before I once again boil away in the heat that is March in Southern California, let me tell you about the show.

The Prelude: Do you have the tickets?
The show was at the new Nokia Theater in Downtown LA. I don't know whose bright idea it was to build a concert venue right across from the Staples Center (home of the Lakers and the Clippers) because when something is happening at Staples, the traffic is a nightmare! But we braved it all, paid $25 for parking and were actually half an hour early for the concert. On the walk from the car I said to my husband, "Do you have the tickets?"

He seriously looked at me like I'd grown two heads and he wanted to chop one of them off. "No. I thought you had them. You always bring the tickets!"

So, I flirted/begged the parking guys for the $25 back and headed home! The whole ride home SOMEBODY was being such a whiner. "We're going to miss the beginning of the show! What if I don't get to see Guy?" Oh my goodness, I wanted to smack him! But thankfully, it only took about eight minutes to get home (yes, I was speeding on the 101) and we were back downtown and parked by 8:00, which made the, "I'm not gonna see Teddy Riley," crybaby chill out.

Act 1: After 7
Now I know how my parents felt when they'd go to see the Temptations and then come home and talk about how there was only one original Temptation left. Um, who were these dudes? I think only one of the original group members is left. All in all, they were pretty boring. They did stuff like tell us to snap our fingers like "grown folks". I'm sorry, but when I go to a show, I don't want to sit on my rear, snapping my fingers and act like I'm getting ready for a nap. I was pretty through when the lead guy started serenading these much older ladies in the front row and they in turn started trying to hump on him. Just Eww! When you get to a certain age, you really should know better!

Act 2: Al B. Sure
So Al B. Sure comes out on stage dressed in suit and a fedora. I get all excited because I'm thinking I'm going to hear him sing "Nite and Day" or something else awesome. But noooo, he's just the Master of Ceremonies because he works for Hot 92 Jamz nowadays. How did I miss that small detail? Hmm... I was so annoyed. But he had a lot of jokes about how he 1) is chunky because he's 40 years old and 2) can actually sing now. He definitely told the truth about both of those things. But he swears he's going to Jenny Craig with Queen Latifah and he's going to slim back down by the time he releases his next record this fall. (just kidding about the Jenny Craig part, I think).

So he gets us all hyped up for Tony! Toni! Tone! and I'm going nuts at this point as the guys start to come out on stage...

Act 3: The Fake Raphael Saadiq
I remember there were some issues between the three guys in Tony! Toni! Tone! back in the day and they broke up. It's especially a shame since Dwayne and Raphael are brothers, but I guess I was under the impression that they'd patched things up and gotten back together.

I was WRONG! So for the second time that night, I got that feeling like I was watching the 8th version of the Tempations. The thing that really made me mad though was that there was an effort to trick the audience into believing Raphael Saadiq was on stage. Why else would they have a guy wearing a newspaper boy cap just like Raphael used to? I was all, "Why's Raphael hiding back in the corner with that ugly purple shirt on? And why does his voice sound so weird?"

And then Fake Raphael's master, Dwanye, let him step from behind the keyboard so he could BUTCHER "Anniversary"! This kid takes off the cap, reveals that he's not Raphael, and all the energy got sucked out of the place. Everyone who was on their feet, including yours truly, sat down! I mean, why not come clean and say, "Introducing Blah Blah, the newest member of the group!" Don't try to hoodwink an LA crowd with your fake Raphael Saadiq! Trust me, the crowd will (and did) turn on you! The drunk folks behind me were all, "Unless Raphael's in the corner smokin' crack, they better get his ass out here on the stage!" I was totally feeling them. If I could've thrown rocks, I would've.

But Raphael, wherever he is (still producing Joss Stone?), got his revenge when Dwayne tried to get freaky with a member of the audience whose weave was so long that it got caught in the strings of his guitar! Hah!

Act 4: Johnny Gill
I was SO mad about the fake Raphael that I found myself wondering if they could make a fake Johnny Gill too. But no, he was there. He's another one that needs a little bit of that Kanye Workout Plan. Either that, or just stop wearing clothing that are so tight! I mean, I thought he was gonna bust out of his champagne colored suit! Oh, and the drunk folks were all yelling, "Johnny, where's ya man, Eddie?" and, "Tracey Edmonds hates you!" But whatever, he was alright. He did a nice Gerald Levert tribute and a nice version of "My, My, My".

THEN, Johnny's all, "Hey I got some special friends here!" Shocker of all shockers, Bobby Brown jumped out on stage with fellow New Edition member Ricky Bell!!!

The potentially craptastic nature of the whole night got saved right in that moment! It would be an understatement to say that the place went BANANAS! I mean, Bobby rocked "My Prerogative" like his life depended on it. Thank goodness he left the shirt on this time, unlike the last time I saw him.

Just when we all thought it couldn't get any better...the guys did "Poison"! Yeah, it was fabulous. I think Johnny Gill has to have a pretty low-key ego because he didn't wig out that the crowd got more excited about Bobby Brown than him.

Act 5: Guy
I was so scared I was going to see a fake Teddy Riley a fake Aaron Hall or a fake Damion Hall. But no, all three guys were there! They sounded fantastic and gosh, Aaron Hall ripped off his shirt and showed us that he still has his washboard abs, even at the age of 44. He then went on to get freaky just like he used to do. He was down in the audience prowling around, looking for a woman who could, as he said, "Handle this." I was dying over the older white lady trying to catch his attention by grabbing his crotch! Wowzer, slow down, honey!

And then Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Al B. Sure all came out and sang "Teddy's Jam" with Guy. Bobby got SO into rocking the song that Aaron Hall started laughing, shrugged his shoulders and walked off stage!

Epilogue: The Couch
The show let out at midnight and I was so tired that I came home and fell asleep on the couch. Whew, FOUR hours of music is a long show!

All I can say is I'm definitely looking forward to next month's show...Kanye West!

Comments

leila said…
very, very amusing! i loved all the little details ... and i'm glad the evening wasn't a total washout: four hours of show is like EONS! i honestly don't know whether i could have handled it. because i get tired easily.

(yawn)
love from leila
Lola Gets said…
"Cant trust the big butts when they smile!'

Ah, truer words have never been spoken. Im glad you had a nice time at the concert. Ive heard it advertised here, but I wasnt going to see it, for some of the same reasons you mentioned. I hate paying good money for crappy performances.

I hope Saddiq comes back! I liked his solo stuff.

L
Anonymous said…
good story. the time i saw the new edition reunion at grant park was a serious fulfillment of childhood desires for me. i had gone to a bel biv devoe concert when i was 11 or 12. but, being that i as 11 or 12 years old and my parents let my friend and i go without them... the curfew was pretty early for us. so, we had to leave after johnny gill, ralph tresvant and keith sweat opened. never saw bbd... until i was 25 or something and all three guys were re-united with new edition and did "poison" bobby brown, however, missed that reunion. too bad... sounds like he had a lot of pent up performance frustration that needed to be let out.

kari
Liz Dwyer said…
Leila,
I might not have lasted the whole night if not for the infusion of energy Bobby Brown brought to the show. He made me forget about how nap-worthy the previous performances were. It wasn't till I got home that I realized how tired I was!

Lola,
The first half wasn't that great but the second half was fabulous so it was worth it. I was such a big Tony! Toni! Tone! fan back in the day that I don't know if anybody could really replace Raphael Saadiq properly!

Kari,
I went to that show in Chicago (was it 1990/91? It was awesome and I had 4th row seats, but I never forgot how Keith Sweat had horribly hairy armpits and kept tossing sweat-drenched towels into the audience. It was gross!

I do think Bobby has a lot to prove. He seemed happy, really energetic. He's always been really talented in so many ways, but drugs have a way of making talent not matter.
I really enjoyed your breakdown of the concert.

I would have been very annoyed about the fake Raphael.

I can't believe drunk people were yelling "Tracy Edmonds" hate you. hahaha. That is so wrong!
BlackLiterature said…
I saw the New Toni, tone tony in Charlotte last year and HOPED you weren't going to be as disappointed as I was. So sorry. I don't really do concerts, but I LOVED them and still have the greatest hits in my CD player.

Oh well. You know, if we EVER see that the real Tony Toni Tone is back together for a show, there will be pandimonium in the streets
Liz Dwyer said…
NYC/CR,
Oh yes, the drunks were off the hook! They made the woman next to me mad though. She left halfway through the show after getting all huffy over the continuous commentary. I thought they were pretty funny though and half the time they're just saying out loud what everyone's thinking!

Blackliterature,
I feel for you that you had to be subjected to the horrors of the fake Raphael as well. I know I'd camp out for tickets to see the real Tony Toni Tone. This mess they have going on is just an embarrassment!
Gosh. I'm struggling to imagine that Bobby Brown saved anything but, given your description, it sounds like a show that needed saving. I hope you aren't too disappointed.... I bet Kayne will be much, much better!
Jameil said…
whoooooooooo!! i looove that bobby b saved the show! hilarity! and lmao @ a nap. you know you need one girl! he was tryin to prep you for a long night!
Unknown said…
I WOULD HAVE LOST MY MIND THE MOMENT GUY CAME OUT ON STAGE!
sounds like
they saved the night.

glad you had fun.
Liz Dwyer said…
Claudia,
Bobby's had so much insane drama in his life that we forget what a talented performer he can be when he's clean and sober. I definitley think he was clean and sober on Friday night. Whatever he's doing, I hope he keeps doing it.

I was disappointed that the first time I saw TTT was this time, but it's alright. I'm still laughing about the weave getting caught in Dwayne's guitar!

And I do think Kanye will be amazing! I can't wait!

Jameil,
Hah hah! Yeah, I guess After 7 didn't want to get us too riled up. Heck, we might have passed out by the time we got to Guy singing "Groove Me"! And Bobby was doing his, "When I say Bobby, you say Brown!" chant and it was like church up in there! He really rocked it. I think he was so awesome because it was just so unexpected and he came out there with FIRE! So different than when Tyrese got on stage looking like a deer in the headlights!

IANSJ,
Yes, you would have definitely lost it. They were so great. I just don't think I could've taken Aaron Hall being 40 pounds heavier and unable to move across the stage. Glad he's doing something right as far as taking care of himself. It's seriously working. I wish they'd release some new material and show these wack R&B kids how it's done.
Lisa Johnson said…
I always wondered what happened to Guy. I can't believe Aaron Hall walked off stage!

Too bad that Al B didn't sing. He was my absolute favorite and I always wanted to see him sing live. I tried twice and it still never happened! The first time, he didn't show up for the concert - or at least that's what seemed to have happened.

The second time, Toni Braxton was opening for him and people flipped out and rushed the stage. She shrieked and ran off the stage and then Al B never performed.

I do hope it's true that he has some new music coming out. I've been hoping!
Jen said…
It's interesting thinking of Bobby Brown saving anything these days, but I'm glad he's rocking out and working hard.

Four hours IS a long show. I think, too, it's sometimes hard to go back to music we grew up with.

I was really, really into YES in high school, and I put on Yessongs the other day and found it pretentious and annoying. LOL.
Miriam said…
My Perogative and Poison!!! I wish I could have seen that in concert.
Anonymous said…
GONE COUNTRY MUSTA Worked...I watch Bobby on Gone Country on CMT..yes yes I'm a sucker for dumb reality t.v. but after the dumb Bobby Whitney reality show I never thought Bobby could redeem himself..maybe a little infusion of country music helped him out...and getting off crack...
I would've loved to see BBD or what was there...it is disappointing when they only have 1 or 2 members of a group..they really should give discounts in situations like that!
And also...wow..You are one hella of a driver..you got back quick! My husband and I would've been arguing so bad...we would've never gotten back to the show...go figure!
Nerd Girl said…
LOL! Sounds like all in all you had a great time.

I loved Raphael Saadiq w/TTT and again with Lucy Pearl (I really wish they'd do another album - love their stuff!).
Anonymous said…
I remember seeing Black Ivory after 20 years - I bought a new outfit, got the hair and nails done and almost cried - they couldn't sing anymore - it was so sad. There was no one on the bill to save the day back then. Tony! Toni! Yusef! sounds sad too.

I'm glad your show ended well and I enjoyed hearing all about it and I'm glad that Bobby Brown did a good job.
Liz Dwyer said…
Anali,
That is some serious bad Al B. Sure luck! But maybe it'll turn and then when he releases his new record and goes out on tour you'll get front row to compensate!

Jen,
I've seen him a couple times now and he definitely seems like he's on the comeback trail. So funny that you were listening to Yes this morning because I heard, "Owner of a Lonely Heart" on the radio! That was such a great song but I didn't know any of their other stuff.

Miriam,
I first saw BBD perform Poison back in '91 -- glad they can still do the moves!

Gyamfua,
I totally forgot that he did that show! That's right! It must have worked because he's definitely got his swagger back.

As far as the driving, downtown is only around four miles from my house and there was no traffic going that way. Plus I'm a driving shortcut junkie! :)

Nerd Girl,
Lucy Pearl was so hot! I wish they'd do another record too, but with Dawn Robinson, not Joi.

Jali,
Oh that IS sad! I hear you though. I was so worried that Guy was going to come out there and sound like their vocal cords need divine intervention, but they sounded fantastic, and even Al B. Sure sounded better than he did years ago.
Kari Carlson said…
yes, same tour. i saw the show in minneapolis during that tour. all i remember of it is the set keith sweat had was circus-themed. i think. or was that ralph tresvant's set? my memory is vague.
Liz Dwyer said…
Kari,
You have a great memory! I don't remember the sets at all! But I do remember after the show me and my friends somehow figured out which hotel the "talent" was staying at out in Rosemont and we ended on an elevator with Bell Biv Devoe. They were very flirty.
Anonymous said…
I feel like I was there at the concert- what a night! I heard the new TTT on Michael Baisen one day and I was absolutely insulted that they would dare try to do anything with Raphael Saadiq. Blasphemy because there is no TTT without Raphael. No matter how old or how chunky he may get I'll ALWAYS LOVE AL B!! (And yes I had to yell it in all caps lol).
Liz Dwyer said…
Yolanda,
Exactly! There definitely isn't a TTT without Raphael. It was SO wack! And I hear you on the Al B. Sure love. He's still hot and he seems like he has such a genuine personality. It was nice to see.

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