The format is somewhat unusual (but completely effective!) as the set doesn't even kick off with music as one would expect, but instead begins with the suave and funny Lee Cadena serving as MC. Throughout the evening he and Teena banter with great ease and charm. Ms. Marie then takes the stage and chats candidly with the crowd for a good while. During this time she invites members of the audience to come up on stage and ask her questions which she answers as only she could (The Tee is one funny Lady!). Then the music begins and she takes us down memory lane with a beautiful rendition of Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby, Baby".
Teena's voice is every bit as rich and alive today and her amazing range remains intact. She swooned us with hits like "If I Were A Bell", "Out On A Limb", "Dear Lover", "Portugese Love" and, of course "Fire and Desire". She also touched on perhaps-lesser-known (but personal favorites of mine) songs like "Wild Horses" (from "Passion Play", one of her least known, but best albums) on the piano and "How Can You Resist It" on acoustic guitar. And don't think for one second that the fact that this was an acoustic set (guitars, piano, keyboard (Johnny Angel) and bass (Douglas Grigsby) only) kept Ms. Marie from bringing the FUNK. She had us up on our feet dancing to classics like "Square Biz", "I'm Just A Sucker For Your Love" and "Lovergirl" too!
Teena Marie is an energetic and gracious performer who gives her all, running through the crowd at times and even serenading a few folk who were celebrating anniversaries.
This was a night I won't soon forget.
Be sure to pick up Teena Marie's latest cd "Congo Square"!
In stores now.