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Erykah Badu at Orpheum Theatre

New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) is in stores now, and the one and only Erykah Badu is on tour to support its release. Last week, she stood in front of the Orpheum Theatre crowd, rocking a top hat and spike heels. Badu sang some new songs, but the audience responded best to the classics: "Next Lifetime", "Tyrone", "On and On", "Love of my Life" and others. Each tune was skillfully remixed by the fabulous live band, putting a little twist on some favorites. The show production, between the lighting, sound and song selection was perfection.

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“All the people in the back, what the f--- you looking at?” Badu joked with the crowd. In that crowd was, Anna Maria from Hyde Park, “I probably have been a big fan of Erykah Badu since her first CD. I really like her, because I think she’s very eclectic. She’s very free to be who she is in her music. I think she sends a lot of powerful messages through that and she’s creative.” She continued, “I like her style, she’s versatile. She’s one of those artists that can’t be duplicated. You can’t box her music in one genre. I like that she can sing different styles and how she talks about her life in her lyrics. While you can get her messages, in the same token, you have to really listen to understand that message.”

Alexis from Atlanta shared, “I’ve been a fan of her since she came out in 1997 with her first album, Baduizm. I’m really excited to see her tonight. I hope she does a combination of old and new. I think she’s amazing. I love her new single for 'Window Seat'. I know the video caused some controversy, but I loved it. I thought it was different and loved the concept. I love her in general, and in my eyes, she can’t do any wrong.”

Craig from Hampton, NH said, “She’s constantly reinventing her image, but her message stays the same. Her messages are humble and they are all about staying true to yourself and embodying who you are. I love her music.”

Erykah was surrounded by a few laptops and electronic mixers/drums on stage, creating a beat which dropped into 'More Bounce to the Ounce'. She shook out her bun and let her blond hair down, belting out “Believe” – the stand out song of the night. This Examiner’s eyes welled up during this song. It was truly beautiful.

Badu’s tourmate, Janelle Monae deserves mention. She opened the show with such charisma and passion, captivating the crowd with the strength of a headliner. Craig from New Hampshire also shared his take on Monae’s set, “This is my first time seeing her live, but I’ve been following her since her first CD, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) and the amount of energy she puts into a show is just phenomenal. You can totally see she puts her all into it – every fiber of her being is on stage and it’s on her sleeve. I respect that. She’s great.”

The duo spent a good solid hour, backstage, with a small group of fans. Badu and Monae answered questions, sang and shared a very special moment with a handful of lucky concert goers. Kudos to their dedication to the fans.

Check out both artists’ websites for more tour information and be sure to view photographs from the show below.  Follow both artists on Twitter:  BADU | MONAE

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