This past Saturday, Love from the Sound Stage and Dreamer Management (Bradford "Jazzy" Smith - President / Chief Executive Officer / Manager) joined forces to create "Letoya Luckett Live - An Intimate Show Experience" at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington DC. It was an intimate experience indeed from stage setting to venue ambiance. Black leather high sofas aligned the apron and adjacent sides of the stages which helped set the tone for a cozily candid evening. Pre-show dining and libations were accompanied by the entertainment and tunes spun by DJ Richie Skye whom was quite noticeably partial to Beyonce tracks (No shade, but just saying!). There were also two opening acts on the bill. First up was singer/songwriter Ivan Ellis later accompanied by fellow Dreamer Music Group recording artist, P- Air. At first take Ellis seemingly offers a cookie cutter Bobby V/Chris Brown hybrid of future hits to come. This persona was nearly cemented in audience members’ psyches when he went on to perform similar version covers of the likes of Trey Songz and even Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. Slight pitch issues coupled with troublesome monitors definitely hindered Ellis from giving a stellar performance and also proved the point of why one should not do covers unless their version is just as good if not better than the original version. There were glimmers of hope though. His original song Rescue was visibly more comfortable to perform and more vocally in control of his rich tone that will carry him so far in his musical career. Especially now at a time where frantic falsetto notes are dominating musical competition shows and YouTube channels around the world. There was also a very honorable tribute to Trayvon Martin performed by Ellis and Hip Hop artist P-Air. Next up was season 4 contestant of NBC’s The Voice, Orlando Dixon who also impressed the audience with his rich tone that weaved in and out of legato and staccato. Dixon delivered a very good rendition of Loveeeeeee Song / Rihanna (Ft. Future) and breathed new life into Jagged Edge’s “I Gotta Be”. It was Dixon’s original song and soon to be released single, “Fool For You” that really swooned the audience. It displays Dixon’s ability to effortlessly melt hearts with a good croon.
Finally, after much anticipation the curtains closed and rose once more to reveal LeToya’s set. There was a very interesting twist however. One by one each of her background vocalists stepped to the lead microphone and gave a 30 second vocal intro displaying their vast talents. After that the band geared up, jamming to “She Don’t” as Luckett strutted out onto stage in a sexy leather couture dress with matching black pumps and just the right amount of sass. True to it’s show title, Luckett gave a very intimate performance of her hits as well as pearls of wisdom that certainly did not fall on deaf ears . Her performance of “Regret” was a perfect segue for advising on the importance of finding the right one to fall in love with instead of settling on anything that comes along. She then performed a light and airy, yet powerful cover of Musiq’s “Love”.
"Now ladies can I talk to you for a minute? Sometimes we find ourselves with men who don’t now how to appreciate us . . . I want you to understand your worth, I want you to understand that God put you on this earth for a purpose, for a reason…”
was a pivotal part of the intro that lead up to her cover of Karyn White's “Superwoman”. She then stopped midway through and asked the very intriguing question, "Ladies they need to earn it, if you're giving it away, and they've got to earn it, WHY WOULD THEY PUT A RING ON IT?!" Luckett then went back to her debut album with a serenade of “Obvious". The throwbacks kept coming when her keyboardist turned DJ went to the Mac Book Pro and began blasting Destiny Child’s hits (Of which Luckett has co-writing credit of) “No No No”, “Billis, Bills, Bills”, and “Say My Name”. The sing-a-long was fun and coyly led up to her solo hit single “Not Anymore”. By the end of the set Luckett was unabashedly transparent disclosing the following:
"I did not want to be a solo artist. I felt for so many years that I could not sing and I begged God every single day for the confidence that I had as a little girl leading the church choir. That’s all I wanted again, But I had people in my life I had my family to encourage me and say you know what you can do this. I would have panic attacks in the bathroom before I went on stage because I didn't believe I belonged here. Please let that be a story to you, please, this is my testimony. Don’t ever let nobody tell you what you can’t do. Not even yourself.”
With that, Luckett went into a very heartfelt performance of her finale song “Torn”. Before leaving the stage she thanked everyone for coming out, and told the audience to be on the look out for her new single at the top of next year. One thing’s for sure, two things for certain LeToya Luckett is no longer a child, but now a grown woman fulfilling her own destiny. Fans and supporters can also catch LeToya on the upcoming 4th season of Vh1’s Single Ladies as well as her new show CultureList Sundays at 11P/10C on CentricTV.