Erykah Badu + DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown on a Lunar Eclipsed Night in Melbourne

Before breaking into ‘Orange Moon’ on a lunar eclipsed night in Melbourne last week, Erykah Badu counted her blessings for the beginnings of her record making career under a similar moon around 20 years ago.

I’d say everyone in the crowd listening to Erykah Badu and her band live at the Palais Theatre, were counting their own blessings for having Erykah Badu and her music in their world.

Later that night at the Toff In Town, everyone on the dance floor moving to the selections of DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown (aka Erykah Badu) was probably counting the same blessings.

The two Erykah Badu shows that night were of a different kind of divinity – and blessed I definitely was to experience both of them.

Erykah Badu Live at The Palais Theatre

Erykah Badu has released four studio albums since the first and platinum selling Baduizm in 1997. To her great credit as an artist, each of those albums sounds different to the one before.  She has always made unique and innovative, naturally-evolving contemporary music for the time.

In 2014 Erykah Badu’s ability to make her music sound fresh, innovative and current, remains unchanged.

At the Palais Theatre she and her band took us to revisit each Erykah Badu album yes. But none of the songs she performed live sounded the same as on the albums. Each one was a new, longer and magnificent version of its original. Different arrangements, improvisation, solos, vocal harmonies, Queen Badu tapping away on an MPC as well as the presence of a DJ mixing things up amongst the drums, bass and keyboard players – all made those Erykah Badu songs ones never heard before.

Erykah Badu Live @ The Palais Theatre - Melbourne, Australia - April 2014

The band played with a distinctive finesse found only in their part of the world, and were super tight. But it was Erykah Badu on the microphone that demanded my complete attention from start to finish. With each movement of her body, and every sound she sang, Erykah Badu breathed truth, conviction and life into all of her songs, no matter their age. I believed and was absolutely mesmerised by every one of those sounds and movements.

Erykah Badu Live @ The Palais Theatre - Melbourne, Australia - April 2014

Photo by Meiwah Williams

Erykah Badu delivered every song with the confidence, strength and talents of a very special woman and artist, and yes without doubt the Queen of Neo Soul (soul/jazz/r&b/funk/hip-hop fusion). Erykah Badu deserves all the respect and appreciation she has in the musical world – now more than ever in the past 20 years.

Here you can check out some (ever-so-dodgy) videos of Erykah Badu live at The Palais Theatre…


Hiatus Kaiyote

Erykah Badu was supported at the Palais Theatre (and her subsequent Sydney show) by Haitus Kaiyote.

Hiatus Kaiyote Live @ The Palais Theatre - Melbourne, Australia - April 2014

Hiatus Kaiyote at Palais Theatre
Photo by Meiwah Williams

After my experience trying to hear Nai Palm through the noisy crowd at her solo show the week before, hearing Nai Palm’s vocals and guitar with the full Hiatus Kaiyote band behind her in a theatre environment, did Hiatus Kaiyote’s music the justice it deserves.

The musicianship of the Hiatus Kaiyote members, and their music with all its many polyrhythms and changes, really is a unique and special thing in Australia and the world. The new tracks they played from their forthcoming album were my favorite in their set.

You can check out sample tracks from Hiatus Kaiyote’s debut album Tawk Tomahawk here.

Hiatus Kaiyote - Tawk Tomahawk

Tawk Tomahawk (2012)

DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown @ The Toff In Town

“When I DJ… I’m paying attention to my mixes, I’m paying attention to my choices and selections. That’s my main focus. I do it fearlessly, because I never underestimate the audiences’ ability to feel. Music is the sixth element; it brings nostalgia, it brings healing and it moves us.”…Erykah Badu (http://serato.com/icon/erykah-badu)

After leaving Erykah Badu’s Palais Theatre show, punters got to have themselves a second divine dose of Erykah Badu that night at the Toff In Town.

DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown (aka Erykah Badu) - Melbourne, Australia - April 2014

There in her alter ego of DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown, Erykah Badu undoubtedly bought the crowd both nostalgia and healing, and moved them through every single beat of her long set.  She played classic and ever-so-tasty hip-hop, soul, reggae and r&b tunes from legendary artists of the likes of Bob Marley, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Outkast, Public Enemy and Lauryn Hill.

DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown (aka Erykah Badu) - Melbourne, Australia - April 2014

Amongst the selections of tracks by other artists were Erykah Badu’s own songs, parts of which she sung live, as well as a Hiatus Kaiyote track that Nai palm joined her on stage for.

You can check out Erykah Badu singing ‘Window Seat’ and Outkast’s ‘So Fresh So Clean’ in the dark at the Toff In Town here…

Erykah Badu, demonstrated by DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown, has absolutely awesome tastes in music.  This was a dream gig  for lovers of great hip-hop and soul music like myself.

Samples of Erykah Badu’s Musical Evolution

If you don’t already know and love Erykah Badu’s long discography of music, you can check out some dirty, compressed mp3 versions of her musical evolution here. All 5 Erykah Badu albums in their full sound glory are so easy to buy from your local record store or on-line.

Baduizm (1997)

Baduizm (1997)

‘Rimshot (Intro)’ – Baduizm – Erykah Badu

‘4 Leaf Clover’ – Baduizm – Erykah Badu

 

Mama's Gun (2000)

Mama’s Gun (2000)

‘…& On’ – Mama’s Gun – Erykah Badu

‘Penitentiary Philosophy’ – Mama’s Gun – Erykah Badu

 

Worldwide Underground (2003)

Worldwide Underground (2003)

‘Bump It’ – Worldwide Underground – Erykah Badu

‘Woo’ – Worldwide Underground – Erykah Badu

 

New Amerykah: Part 1 (4th World War) (2008)

New Amerykah: Part 1 (4th World War) (2008)

‘The Healer’ – New Amerykah: Part 1 (4th World War) – Erykah Badu

‘That Hump’ – New Amerykah: Part 1 (4th World War) – Erykah Badu

 

Erykah Badu - New Amerykah: Part 2 (Return of the Ankh)

New Amerykah: Part 2 (Return of the Ankh) (2010)

‘Incense’ – New Amerykah: Part 2 (Return of the Ankh) – Erykah Badu

‘Love’ – New Amerykah: Part 2 (Return of the Ankh) – Erykah Badu

 

Erykah Badu

 

Erykah Badu Live @ Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014 – tonight!!

I’m heading out now to get my third dose of Erykah Badu’s divinity before she leaves Australia this time.  She and her band are headlining the main stage tonight at the Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014 🙂 .

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