Photographs by Sarah Rix.
In 2003, Kelis was best known as the girl whose milkshake bought all the boys to the yard. Now she’s back with a funky new menu that will satisfy your taste buds. Kelis dropped her new album Food back in April, her first in four years. She describes the record as “love and summer” and based on what I’ve heard yesterday, her intimate venue tour is bound to make you nostalgic for some home cooked meals.
Opening for Kelis was electronic/soul singer, Son Little. His songs were heartfelt; his vocals were smooth but his overall performance left a lot to be desired. It felt like his set was lacking substance and needed a little more spice to jazz up his stage presence. Lucky for him, Son was able to grab the crowd’s full attention in the end.
It was time for the queen of mystic to hit the stage. The 30-minute wait was infused with dancehall tunes and drunken folks attempting to do the dutty wine. Finally, appearing flawlessly in a fitted green dress, Kelis opened her show with a cover of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”, which sounded so exquisitely over the sax and trumpet. She welcomed her guests by letting them know the evening would be special, served with multiple helpings of new and old favourites.
For most of the night, Kelis’ performance was on point. Her saucy blend of soul, dance, R&B was the perfect seasoning to enhance your censor-free soul. The six-piece brass-ridden band was the right ingredient to create those rambunctious rhythms for “Jerk Ribs”, “Friday Fish Fry” and “Milkshake”. And when her husky voice would mess-up her vocal range, her backup singer was there to keep the flow going. However, the sluggish pacing would derail the energetic performances, as Kelis would pause to chat with fans, take Instagram photos, or check the audio system.
Despite its shortcomings, Kelis and her band served its best dishes last night. Her recipe for being intimate and having an eclectic energy brought so much depth to this show, which made this cookout more enjoyable. After a long hiatus, it’s nice to see Kelis back in the game.