You better “gitchie, gitchie, ya-ya, here (here)” were the lyrics of the 1974 Labelle hit, “Lady Marmalade“, but they were also words that the Queen, Ms. Patti Labelle could have used to command all of those in the DMV who wanted a musical experience, to make their way down 95 South.
The “Godmother of Soul” helped us slide smoothly into our weekend vibes, when she held court on Friday, December 6th, before a packed house at the MGM National Harbor. Granted it was the start to the weekend, we thought that we may have had our days mixed up as she strutted on stage (in typical Ms. Patti fashion), and took us straight to church. What else could we expect from a musical legend, who was raised in the church and seems to have a church family unit surrounding her while out on the road. Said family would be her band, a unit that moved and played like an extremely well rehearsed church choir.
For anyone that purchased a ticket to this concert, they knew exactly what they were in for, that classic voice which has spanned over 5 decades and stood the test of time, literally! I don’t know many artists whose vocals prowess or chords are sharply intact at the tender age of 75 years old. Wait a minute, is this soul sister REALLY in her mid-70’s?! I truly find it rather hard to believe, as she’s out here looking in great shape, and holding true to her “divaesque” profile, but in a good way.
Long time Patti fans came for the hits, and that’s what we got…the songs that made you fall in love in the first place. Things got turned up a notch when she allowed us to see that she had a “New Attitude” on a trip down to old New Orleans to search for “Lady Marmalade“, before giving us a friendly reminder that we are still loved by her via her hit “If Only You Knew“. Although NONE of us, strong emphasis on NONE can sang anywhere remotely as good as Ms. Labelle, the audience tried their hardest with harmonizing along to “If You Asked Me To“, “Love Need And Want You“, “Somebody Loves You Baby” and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow“.
But it was her signature song that everyone was yearning for, a song that she’s received some renewed interest from the general public and introduced her to the millennials. A little ole’ song by the title of “On My Own” had again become popular because of the now uber viral video of James Wright singing the tune while eating a slice of her world-renowned sweet potato pie. Telling by the faces of her fans who were caught singing, it was clear to see that the lyrics tapped their hearts and drilled all of the emotions out.
Thank you Ms. Patti for making this a night to remember!
Please check out the photo gallery, courtesy of Mike Ware.