Saturday, June 06, 2009

Erykah Badu at Club Nokia

If Friday night at Club Nokia is indicative of anything, Erykah Badu is a singer, songwriter, and poet. She even dances and poses for pictures with glitz, glamour, and sass. But really? Erykah Badu controls music, time, and space.

The moment Badu stepped onto the stage, she commanded it. As she went through her repertoire of music, each piece traveled you through time - the present, the past ("let's go back...") - pushing you forward toward the future of seeing the night as her whole musical canvas.

Each song rode a different wave, reflecting the musical diversity, history, and multiple strengths of Badu, but they all fit like pieces of a puzzle. Visually matching all of this was her costume changing - kimono and silver cap shed to black dress and silver cap to no cap and in her encore, a bright dress.

We went back with Badu and came back with Badu. And somewhere in all that music - a heart string was tugged, a memory evoked - and she sang to you, for you, for that part of you that heard that song for the first time and in that now.

You might have said, "That's my song!" And, in a way, it's true. In the magic of Badu as both maestro and musician, you can believe she's singing that song for you.

Ultimately, Badu is an ironic chameleon. She doesn't change herself to match the backdrop. She changes everything else to reflect her songs and her stories and her show.

And you? You're not safe from change either, but that's okay. You just enjoy the ride.

-Charity Tran

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