Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alicia Keys Reinvents Hits Live

Alicia Keys doesn’t need most to fill a big room. As the screen rose final night at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, Keys sat alone at a piano on a theatre swarming with flickering candelabras, personification a antique instrumental that led into the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” In a voice abounding and soaring, she found new punch and definition in the line: “All my life, I’ve been watchful for this impulse to arrive.”

The impulse was “Piano I: A One-Night Only Event With Alicia Keys,” a celebratory unison just forward of subsequent week’s recover of the stretched 10th anniversary book of 2001′s Songs in A Minor and Thursday’s hometown show at New York’s Beacon Theatre. It wasn’t just a reverence to a great entrance album, but a lapse to the nude down solo piano mode that began her live behaving career.

For scarcely dual hours at the expensively Art Deco Pantages, Keys sang with authentic fun and agonise of regretful struggles, empowerment and prolonged goodbyes. Her set was centered on Songs in A Minor, but she also recast some of her after hits to solo piano, branch “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” and “Unthinkable (I’m Ready)” into something some-more unpleasant and approach than the originals. “This night is about the future,” she declared, drumming stiletto heals opposite her piano pedals.

The show began with a stretched-out miscellany of songs by artists who desirous her: Mary J. Blige, Biggie Smalls, Brian McKnight and Marvin Gaye, whose exemplary “Trouble Man” unfolded with an concerned piano tune and a exemplary Motown groove. “I love this. It’s nude behind and super-raw,” she told fans.

Now a mom and occasional singer with 4 studio albums behind her, Keys brought the weight of knowledge to her performances of A Minor ballads. She battered the keyboard on a gangling “Girlfriend” and sang the painful “Goodbye” with her conduct slanted back, cheering adult to the rafters, “Is this the end? Are you sure?”

She was hardly 20 when that entrance was released, and not prolonged out of her behaving humanities high school. The front announced the attainment of a new cocktail voice, one drumming into gospel, Sixties/Seventies soul, exemplary tune and hip-hop force. The manuscript won 5 Grammys, including Best New Artist.

While the unison was in the core of Hollywood, her heart was clearly behind in Manhattan. She told stories of flourishing adult there, of childhood fire-hydrant showers and essay songs on the train. She sang an generally soulful delivery of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” before easing into “Empire State of Mind,” her partnership with Jay-Z.

She once again lighted a withering “How Come You Don’t Call Me,” a pivotal lane on A Minor but creatively a B-side by Prince (who just final month brought Keys onstage to perform it as a duet at the Forum across town). She made it her own, recreating the gospel piano and cocking her conduct laterally playfully to say, “Let me tell you something . . . ” After groan and distracted by the shutting lines, she took a exhale and said “I get unequivocally worked up.”

So did the audience. Fans rose to their feet for the lenient “Superwoman,” and after several masculine voices yelled “I love you!” Keys declared, “There are a lot of lively group adult here – and we love a lively man.”

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