Erykah keeps it flowin’
There will be no pyrotechnics, dancing girls or pre-recorded songs. Sunday’s House of Blues crowd will see Erykah Badu, raw, uncut and ready. No glam; just her, her band and her fans.
Badu brings her Worldwide Underground Tour to 28 U.S. cities with only this stop in Florida.
The tour’s title comes from her latest LP, Worldwide Underground. The tour was dubbed so in response to last year’s “Frustrated Artist Tour,” where she played a series of clubs and theaters — the essence of the underground.
Worldwide Underground is Badu’s fourth album, and features artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Dead Prez, Queen Latifah, Angie Stone and Bahamadia.
If this tour resembles the “Frustrated Artist Tour” at all, concertgoers are assured to experience a show like no other.
As Badu’s show progressed last year, she pulled off layers of clothing during her amazing set, symbolizing the layers of self she revealed through each heartfelt song.
The stage is Badu’s personal territory, and from the beginning to end of her theatrical show the audience will witness a soulful work of art.
But she doesn’t take all the credit for her unique style. On stage she gives props to her band and backup vocalists by letting them solo for the crowd, giving everyone a chance to get in on the groove.
The Dallas native blends jazz, hip hop, R&B, funk and soul with her own lyrics and production team for an eclectic, yet original, sound.
Her work is influenced black musicians such as Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye.
The four-time Grammy winner takes on several motifs while performing.
Badu’s hairstyles (a decorative headdress, an Afro, braids or bald scape) correlate with the vibe she wants to achieve during any particular performance.
Moving from one side of the stage to another, Badu waves her arms around, breaks out a couple of dance moves and just grooves along with her mood. It’s not uncommon to see her playing the guitar or beat-box while performing.
Her dynamic energy surges through the crowd bringing it into the realm of Badu.
But before the singer unveils her presence to the crowd, the fans will get warmed up with the Floetry experience.
Londoners Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart — self-proclaimed songstress and “floacist” — combine spoken word and vocals to create something that merges poetry and music.
Ambrosius and Stewart pour their hearts and souls right into the microphone with the duality of rapping and singing that fuses the gap between two soul sisters.
The ladies incorporate lyrics of love, independence and the self into their songs.
Stewart spells out narratives while Ambrosius pulls the listener deeper into the music with her bombastic sopranos.
These two, clad in Converse sneakers and funky clothes, bring a refreshing sound and distinction to the stage.
Badu and Floetry won’t try to sell the audience a spectacle. Instead, these performers will be themselves, share their music and give the audience a chance to experience real artists.
Badu performs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 14, at House of Blues Orlando. Tickets are $35. Doors open at 6 p.m.