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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Concert Review: Mint Condition @ B.B. King Blues Club...

"I've been waiting, for this moment for sometime..." Tonight - Mint Condition

On Sunday night, I took to B.B. King's Blues Club with my girls Detrel and Pam, to see my favorite band in the world - Mint Condition.  I was literally counting down the days for this show, since I missed their previous one for my birthday last May.  I was not missing them this time around. 

Unbeknownst to a lot of people, Mint Condition is one of the hardest working bands in the game today.  We all know in the land of sampling, autotune and vocoders, there is hardly any room for an R&B band.  Remember when you were able to name at least 5 bands off the top of your head? Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, SOS Band, Tony Toni Tone and The Roots Band.  I threw that one in just to throw you off.  But now...not so easy.


Anyhow, on Sunday night I did not do my usual journalistic thing - take out my book and jot down notes.  Analyze and strip down the show in my head.  Instead, I took in the show as a fan should.  I swayed and cooed to each song, I brought myself down memory lane with each note sung and I marveled at the musicianship that everyone brought forth on that stage.

The opening set was a soulful rocked out throw down by a band from Minnesota who call themselves The New Congress.  They began their set with their DJ and a little bit of scratchin' and mixin'.  Once the rest of the band took to the stage, everyone was set to get down and see what the band had to offer.  They sang a President Obama speech sampled track "Under The Eyes" and a sultry track entitled "Eyes", however I would say the crowd fell into New Congress' hands when they did their covers of "Used To Love U" by John Legend and Musiq's "Just Friends."  They had the whole club singing and dancing along with the latter.  Here is a quick snippet of their rocked out reprise:


They most definitely had me intrigued enough to purchase the album and have it signed at the end of the show.  Review will be coming soon.

It wasn't enough that I was here to see Mint Condition, but The Sugar Hill Gang made it through to introduce the band.  How funky is that?  Upon their introduction, Stokley, Jeff, O'Dell, Ricky and Larry took it upon themselves to give B.B. King's a sweat n' funky hell of a good time.  Dodging in and out of their hits one after another, it was like a Mint Condition fan's dream come true.  Opening with "Gratitude," and following with (in no order) "Whoaa," "Is This Pain Or Pleasure," "You Send Me Swinging," and "It's Hard", they were all on the roster and I'm just getting started.  Their percussion pause mid way through the show with Stokely on drums, is a reminder to all that Mint Condition is your quintessential band.  They can play their designated instruments, yet a few can double up on other instruments as well.  For instance, we all know that Stokely can find any form of rhythm and sound in ANYTHING (he's like a musical Macgyver) and Jeff is the keyboardist for the group, who also doubles up as the saxophonist as well.  And the man is a badass tickling the ivories and blowing that sax.


More tracks were thrown at us, "Baby Boy Baby Girl," "Breakin' My Heart-Pretty Brown Eyes," "So Fine" and "What Kind of Man Would I Be."  And I know I am missing a few, but honestly it was a whirlwind of Mint's best, no one's favorite was left out in the cold.  And just when we thought the night was done, after their encore, they brought out The Sugar Hill Gang for a "thank you" and we were treated to this:


At that point, the club was shut down with everyone responding HO! and screaming on cue.  The night could not have ended on a better note.  Of course my Mint Condition dream concert, would be for them to bring "Straight From The Mint Factory" back to life - word for word, song for song.  But hey, a gal can dream. :)

To check out Mint Condition's tour schedule visit their website here

See y'all soon...

Tha Connoisseur 

4 comments:

Ms. Aja B. said...

That was a great review! Made me feel like I was right there partying along with you. Glad you had some well deserved downtime.

Tha Connoisseur said...

@Aja: Thank you! It was so needed and well enjoyed. Happy you enjoyed it!

the-soul-within said...

No need for me to tell you what a damned good time I had, right? My voice still isn't back to full capacity just yet. Those are my dudes -- been loving and following the music since they hit the scene...from the World Trade Center, to SOBs, to BB King's -- I've seen them quite a bit in this lifetime and hope to travel the world to see them do it for different audiences.

So glad I could spend that time with you -- wonderful!

Tha Connoisseur said...

@Soul Within: And then DC, so I can only imagine how your voice is recouping. :) I crossed the border to see them once and the rest of the times, I have been lucky to see them here. Hopefully I get a few more of their shows in before I head back to my side of the world. :)

We had a ball, can't wait to do it again!