Hello Bianca, do you wanna go to a free concert?
Duh! I love music, and any chance I get to go to a concert (especially for free!!), I will jump on it. Red Bull Sound Select celebrates local music and the people that push it forward. I signed up on their site and included my social media promotions about music for a chance to win tickets. You can imagine the grin on my face when I received the email letting me know I was one of the chosen!
Let me be honest…I wasn’t a die hard fan of any of the artists. I’d never heard of Dustin Cavazos, Larry g(EE), or the Cannabinoids. I’d known a few of Erykah Badu’s songs, but mostly radio play. Even more honesty, I appreciated her not so much for her artistry, but as a mother. I knew she was a very natural mom, birthing two of her children at home. That’s the side of her that appealed to me. Plus, as a mother, she’s balancing her work with her family. My beloved knew even less.
And so we dressed ourselves and went off to Deep Ellum for our concert. Both of us exhausted from the day because we’d been dealing with car issues. (We were actually researching new cars and went for a test drive.) Oh, and we’d just gotten back from vacation in San Diego (post forthcoming). Oh, and I had this tickle in my throat that was nagging at me. Nevermind all of that, we were happy to have a date and go on a new musical journey, surrounded by many people who would be as passionate about music as we are.
Warming up the night, as people trickled in was DJ Sheka Booker. This girl had me dancing and grooving. I didn’t care if people were staring. They should’ve been dancing!
Next up was Dustin Cavazos. Here’s the thing, I’ve been a fan of Tupac for I don’t know how long. His music, were stories from the heart. Real stories, from real experiences. He was a preacher and maybe I didn’t always agree with everything he said, his words spoke to me unlike any other rapper…until July 26th. I realized I’d stopped listening to anything new. I played my old stand-bys, only venturing out when someone I trusted would give a solid recommendation. I lamented the loss of ‘Pac, and had since stopped looking for someone to fill the void. Because of that absence, I was wrong to stop my search of poets. I just needed to put my ear to the ground towards the local scene. Then again, isn’t that the purpose of what Sound Select is trying to achieve? His lyrics are fresh, they are real, and his passion is evident when he performs. Check out his videos here.
I popped outside and indulged in a Simply Dosa Paneer Masala Dosa and water because holy moly was it hot!! So humid! That tickle in my throat persisted and I just prayed that I could make it through the night. I parked myself in the center close to where the air flowed. My Beloved to the front grabbing all of the stills in this post.
Next up was Larry g(EE). If Bruno Mars and Michael Fitzpatrick (the Fitz from Fitz and the Tantrums) had a love child, they’d have Larry. He’s so full of soul and that voice paired with the horns, how could I not feel happy and sassy and want to dance. Note to self, must acquire a bowtie for my Beloved, because he makes it fun and classy! Check out his music. It makes you want to dance. It makes you want to grab the person closest to you and just start swaying together. (I’m Your Fool is my favorite!)
After he and his band heated up the place, there was a bit of an intermission as the Cannabinoids set up. All of their Mac computers with the wires, strewn on the stage, I was particularly excited to see what was going to happen. I knew it was going to be something special! Something special did happen! While the Cannabinoids were doing their thing, Dallas based rapper and creative genius –topic and the Team from Nowhere (TFN) jumped up on stage and gave us quite a show. –topic reminded me of Common. He oozed creativity. I’d seen him outside before the show as I stood there smiling and caught the eye of Joonbug, part of TFN. He had this delicate smile, soft voice, and bright eyes. He told me that he’d designed the shirts for the show and I was completely honored to have met him! In that moment, I wished I would’ve been able to have had a coffee with him and sat for hours. One of those moments where you wish you were in school again and this was the kind of person you hoped would sit next to you all year.
Anyway, they were performing a song called “Chips on a Plate” while throwing out chips to the crowd. Yeah, I caught some Cheetos. It was the final pack of chips that were thrown into the crowd. I haven’t opened them. The energy in that room was palpable. Everyone was on their feet, dancing, moving, sweating, smiling. It was like being at a rowdy house party filled with beautiful people. I loved it! Love, love, love, loved it!
An hour passed before Ms. Badu graced us with her presence. My throat was all kinds of angry at me. The various smokes in the room were irritating me and I was praying I could make it through the show to see her perform at least one song. The vibe in the room had gone from electric to a dimmed hum. Everyone was standing around, eyes glued to the stage, necks craning to catch a glimpse. During that time, we were treated by DJ mix beats that had me in a bit of a trance. By this time the entire room was packed, barely enough room to sway side to side. Glimpses of LED lights flashing faces as people texted, tweeted, posted instagram pics of the night. After all, they were all noticed to be there through social media. It was only fitting that our smart phones were present members as well.
At 12:45 her band started playing and after several minutes there she was.
I haven’t the words. Everyone seemed star struck for just a moment, the murmur of the crowd quieted, cellphones in the air attempting photos to preserve the moment and to immediately brag to their friends. I snapped one image, stood there and let her voice soothe my sore throat. I felt alive. I felt sensual. I felt womanly. And when she sang On and On (my favorite of hers), it took me back to the summer of ‘97. The crowd swayed like dancing jellyfish tentacles in the sea. We were all connected and feelin’ the music. She continued to turn it up even higher, the crowd falling deeper and deeper in love with her and that moment. It was well after 2 before she would finish, but I expired much earlier than that. I was already at home gargling hot water with lemon in my jammies. Smiling at the gift I’d been given that evening. Grinning at the conversations I’d had, the ones I’d overheard, and just watching everything and everyone.
Yes, the music was a real treat in and of itself, but it was those moments in between that acted as the thread to weave the music and the people. I’ve discovered that often when you suck it up, the reward is that much greater and on this particular evening, it certainly was.
**I was awarded two free tickets to the show and a media pass to capture the images. Thanks to my husband for capturing these images.**