My, my, my…it sure feels good to be home is the tune that R&B powerhouse Johnny Gill was singing at his Valentine’s weekend concert at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club on Friday, February 15th.
Date night was certainly in effect as the New Edition front man played to a packed house. The ladies were looking fine, and the fellas got suited up to enjoy the smooth sounds of the hometown hero. It’s not that often that Gill comes home to the DMV area to perform full, solo concert sets, so anyone who attended one, or both nights of his two show stay, you were in for a special treat.
When you think of Johnny Gill, one might think that this would be a show where it may be him standing flat foot in front of his band, and behind a mic stand and singing slow love ballads all night…you my friend, are sadly mistaken. Yea, we DID get those ballads that put attendees in the love making mood, BUT the show was complete with full on entertainment value.
Accompanied by two female dancers, who doubled as background singers, Gill glided across the stage, working every visible angle of the BBJC, but that’s not where it stopped. Who know that playing the Congas or drums were part of his musical repertoire? We surely didn’t, and that’s the beauty of a live concert, to be exposed to those elements that you rarely know about an artist.
Granted the extra frills were a nice touch to the show, his song selection is what REALLY brought the people out. We’ve been getting hits from JG since the mid-80’s, when he was doing duets with Stacy Lattisaw (of which a few of those appeared in the setlist), but everyone perked up when it was the better known hits that got the live treatment. “Rub You The Right Way” is still a New Jack Swing jam that will make your body move, even if you didn’t want it to, and that was evident by looking into the crowd, who’s shoulders were moving, regardless of being dressed up. Almost ever hit song that he put out was performed, “My, My, My“, “Fairweather Friend” and “There U Go” were all there, but we can’t forget about those tracks that he did with BOTH of his groups. You kind of CAN’T forget about New Edition’s “Can You Stand The Rain“, which still holds a sentimental place in many people’s heart. I’ve never seen so many concert goers sing THAT hard in my life! Plus as an extra bonus, we got to hear LSG’s 1995 hit “My Body“.
I know for sure that Valentine’s Day was made whole for someone who came to see his show, and it made us feel just as good inside.
Check out the photo gallery of shots taken by Mike Ware.