Lately I’ve been in a funk. A grey cloud had settled over my life and decided to rain down some raggedy ass feelings of apathy, self-doubt, worthlessness, and general discontent. I think…and don’t laugh at me, guys…it’s a side effect of me seeing some people call 33 a Jesus year. I’ll be turning 33 later this year and I’m like man the Savior did SO much in his 33 short years and I can barely eat lunch without dropping something into my boob. Like God wasn’t his daddy or somethin’. LOL.
Let’s rewind to Wednesday, March 11. Actually, let’s go a little further than that to some random January day when I saw a flyer advertising Ledisi’s Intimate Truth tour with special guests Leela James and Raheem DeVaughn. I bought tickets immediately because I’m a mega fan of both of the ladies on the bill. I wasn’t super familiar with Raheem, but figured he should be able to hold his own if he was chosen to tour with these two powerhouse vocalists.
In the weeks leading up to the show, the aforementioned apathy lead to me waffling about my decision of whether or not I’d actually end up going . In fact, until a mere two hours before doors were set to open, I wasn’t completely sure I was going to make the trip into the City for the show. Standing outside waiting for doors, I grew increasingly impatient and debating leaving at least 3 more times. But something inside kept telling me to just take my ass on in the venue and enjoy this show.
And mannnnnnnnnn did I enjoy it. Listen, you wanna experience Black Girl Magic? Just go to a Leela James show. From the moment she stepped on stage, I was captivated. If you’re unfamiliar, allow me to direct you to this lil youtube clip ri’chea –> Leela James – Don’t Speak Her vocals are fucking ridiculous. I don’t know all of the technical terms for the magic she weaves with the notes and runs and such, but I do know that her voice has a way of traveling down into your soul and wrapping itself around you like a warm blanket. As far as her stage presence? Girlfriend exudes power and confidence all the way through. She performs with such a fearlessness that is invigorating. It was my first time witnessing it live and I didn’t want it to end. The close of her set came too soon and I felt winded as if I’d just run a 200m dash.
Later in the night, Ledisi hit the stage. I should say stormed the stage really. Emerging in a glittering silver gown with a slit up to *here*, sauntering forward as she sang with a confidence that made everyone in the room sit up and pay attention. She ministered through her music, literally taking us to church with a rendition of “Take My Hand Precious Lord” that nearly brought me to tears and had the entire room buzzing. The point though, for me, where the tears did flow was when she sang “Alright”. I’d heard the song hundreds of times prior to the show. Hell, had even heard her sing it a time or two before, but on that night those lyrics resonated. I needed to hear all of the words of that song and absorb the spirit running through it. By the time, she closed out with “Bravo”? Chile…I needed the ursher board to help me up off the ground.
I’ve seen a fair amount of shows. And I’ve been awed in the presence of my faves many a time. But on March 11 in the 2015th year of our Lord, Leela James and Ledisi changed my life for the better. And for that? I am eternally grateful.