Monday night I joined my friends to see Bilal perform at the Dakota Jazz Club. I'm not the hugest Bilal fan, but I liked him enough to see him, and the Dakota is a great venue for intimate shows. After seeing Eric Roberson & Lalah Hathaway at the Dakota in 2011, I expected a really great show from Bilal.
Showtime was 7pm, so I arrived by 645pm. ..and the venue was half full...weird. I took a seat at my table, ordered, chopped it up with my friends. We're waiting & waiting & waiting for the show to start. Eventually the band comes out...at 750pm..almost an hour after the initial start time.
Bilal takes the stage & begins his first song...and it doesn't sound the greatest. He's also alone - no backup singers. He interrupts the song to inform the audience that he didn't have a soundcheck & that the mic wasn't working properly. Ummm, excuse me, but isn't having soundcheck part of your job, as a working musician? After the song, he disappears for a few & someone from the Dakota replaces the mic. The show continues...but you can tell the audience is definitely not into the show. At one point, the other 4 ladies at my table were on their phones texting, tweeting, Facebooking & even reading their Google Reader. Yeah...
Bilal did do my faves, "Soul Sista" and "Sometimes" which I appreciated & he sounded great doing them. But the show also left a lot to be desired. He didn't do any of his duets, as he didn't have any background singers (which I'd love to know why). And he only performed maybe 6 or 7 songs, before he left the stage around 850pm. He come out to do one final encore song...and that was the end of the show.
Some pics from the limited amount of time Bilal was on stage:
I braved the cold in Minnesota, on a Monday night after work...for that???
I'd hate to say it, but my friends were the most entertaining part of the night! Starting with B, who spent the night talking to her "man" ERRO (who is doing a show in Mpls on Feb 7)...she was up close & personal with this flyer all night!
She talked to that flyer so much that my girl SS had to do something about it...
And some quotes from the night:
"It's like we sat in on someone's band practice"
"He's giving me Tommy Davidson from In Living Color"
"All I gotta say is Randy Watson" (complete with hand movements)
Before I left, I did snap a pic with Bilal...thanks?
Seriously tho...I could have stayed home & got some rest...*sigh*