Legacy of a Legend

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 7:16 PM

“This is not the show to sit and stare at me; get up and have a good time…” –Estelle Live at Amos’ Southend, Charlotte, NC

Event: Bailey's Presents Estelle hosted by John Legend
Date: 4.16.08
Location: Amos' Southend, Charlotte, NC

I was curious as to what this London girl could give this American boy in a live show. After all, I’d only been turned on to her about 3 weeks prior to the night’s event, but was deeply intrigued with what I’d heard from this hip sister from across the waters. Glancing around, I noticed an eclectic crowd – which only attests to the magic in her music: there’s something for everyone. The venue slowly filled – though not to capacity – and the mingling began as the DJ blessed us with the sounds of Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Amerie, and other leaders of the new school.

Places everyone. After about 90 minutes, the band files in on stage; each takes their rightful place to back this brown sista with soul and swagger. In she comes, petite, but strong, and she takes her place at center stage. Her intro, a jazzy mix of guitars, drums and horns, and when she grabs the mic she brings it all home, opening the show with her Will.I.Am produced smash Wait A Minute (Just A Touch). The crowd livens, and for the next hour, we’re one nation under a London groove.

Estelle’s performance is full of energy, sassiness, and eloquence, all rolled up into one little lady. Her sharp tongue and quick wit kept the crowd with their hands in the air and smiles all night. Although most of her songs were unfamiliar to the majority, one thing was certain, everyone was feeling her! Having been one of the few people there to actually hear the whole project before the show, I must say, I have an even deeper appreciation. The first half was for the ladies, and she performed the reggae infused tracks Magnificent (which features Kardinal Offishall) and Come Over, as well as More Than Friends. The latter sheds light on the often blurred line between friends and lovers.

Highlight of the night for most was when John Legend joined Estelle onstage for a duo rendition of Michael Jackson’s I Can’t Help It, which led into another duet between Legend and his protégé – the rhythmic, island flavored Come Over. Towards the end of the performance, Estelle rocked the house with her Swizz-Beatz produced Shine, an empowerment anthem that had the crowd swingin from left to right, chanting along to an interpolation of Shawty Lo’s Dey Know. Of course there was the crowd-pleasing performance of American Boy her widely popular lead single which features Kanye West.

The first artist on Legend’s Homeschool Records, Estelle proves she’s no amateur to the mic nor the stage. Each number was preceded by a synopsis of its creation, establishing a level of relation with the audience. Armed with a fresh sound, confidence, and a round-the-way girl flow that’ll make her fit right at home in your stereo. On her sophomore effort Shine due in stores April 29th, you’ll find a clever mix of reggae inspired songs, hip-hop artistry, and expressive vocals. If you’ve attended the live shows, you got just a touch – this album is sure to shine!


1 Comment

  1. Sim-One Said,

    Nice piece. I loved the show and became an instant fan when she walked on the stage. I will definitely be supporting her.

    Posted on April 22, 2008 at 8:21 AM


Post a Comment