Melanie Fiona performs as part of the BET Music Matters tour at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, MD on Thursday, April 7, 2011.
The BET Music Matters Tour made a stop at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live for a sold out show on Thursday, April 7. This was stop number fourteen of twenty-three for the tour which features Anthony David, Melanie Fiona, and Marsha Ambrosius.
The night opened up with Baltimore’s own CJ Hickson taking the stage. The young man showed off his skills as a musician by playing almost every instrument on stage at one point or another doing his set.
Following Hickson was President Obama’s favorite musician, Anthony David. David’s most recent and fourth album Above So Below was released in February 2011. He is best known for a duet he did with India.Arie. back in 2008 called “Words”.
All though he wasn’t as well known as the two ladies who would take the stage after him, that did not matter. From start to finish, Mr. David seemed to have the crowd in the palm of his hands. His showmanship was on full display as he performed songs of his own, and as his band mixed in excerpts of various southern hip hop songs, as he interacted with the audience.
Melanie Fiona followed Anthony David. She stepped on stage with attitude and energy with a black hat pulled down on her head slightly covering her eyes. This was the second chance I had to photograph her. Last years, Alicia Keys Freedom Tour was the first opportunity I had to photograph her. She is currently working on her second album which will be called The MF Life. The album is currently scheduled to be released in July 2011.
Just like her performance during the Alicia Keys tour, Ms. Fiona put a lot of energy into her show. Working the stage left to right and right to left, the crowd responded to her energy by dancing and singing along, especially as Fiona performed the song “Ay Yo” and her number one hit “It Kills Me”.
The last performance of the night was from Marsha Ambrosius. Like Melanie Fiona, this was the second time I had the chance to photograph her. She performed at the African American Heritage Festival in Baltimore, MD last year.
Ms. Ambrosius has one of those voices that once you hear it you will never forget it. Her first studio album as a solo artist, Late Nights & Early Mornings was released on March 1 of this year.
As she took the stage, the crowd erupted and she wasted no time putting on a flawless show. From her first sung words “B-morrre, B-morrre” to running scales, singing her signature ballads, and displaying her skills on the keyboard, she engaged the audience like she was singing for her family and friends in a living room back home in England.
She started the show with the song “Take Care”. As she continued on to sing “Late Nights, Early Mornings” and “Hopes She Cheats”, the sold out crowd could often be heard singing along with her word for word. This continued as she performed through out the night; especially, when she sung some old school classics including “Real Love” by Mary J Blige, “Sweet Thang” By Chaka Khan and a tease of Baltimore’s own Dru Hill’s “Tell Me”.
Her band was exceptional and her DJ (a Baltimore native) really got the crowd going when he went into a quick B-more club set.
Overall, the BET Music Matters Tour is well worth seeing if it is coming to a town near you.