The Ladies Run This: Summerstage 2009!

10 Aug

Jazmine Sullivan

Yesterday, SummerStage in Central Park went down and hella folks came out to weather the heat and humidity just to see our favorite artists perform.  The show kicked of with Case, followed by Jon B., Ryan Leslie, Deborah Cox, and Jazmine Sullivan.

Truth be told, the ladies (Deborah and Jazmine) stole the show.  It was nice to hear oldies but goodies from Case and Jon B., but performance-wise, Case and Jon could’ve probably rehearsed a few more times before hitting the stage.  Ryan Leslie, on the other hand, gave a great show.  I can’t even front, his energy was stellar, and on top of that homie came out playing multiple instruments while jumping up and down on stage.  Yet still, his vocal skeelz can’t touch Ms. Cox and Ms. Sullivan’s.  Like my girl told me while walking back home from the concert, “Ryan Leslie is more like a hype man, than anything.  And he’s good at it.”

Case In Point.

90’s R&B singer Case was the first to hit the stage and for the most part he did a good job.  He looked pretty much the same down to the white shirt, black hat, and blue jeans.  At one point though, brotha tried to hit a long sustaining note in between songs and to say he was a bit sharp would be an understatement.  Case performed all his hits that we all used to jam out to in middle school, including Happily Ever After and Touch Me Tease Me (sans Foxy Brown).  He also brought a young woman on stage and pretty much stimulated oral sex by putting his head between her legs while he sang some Keith Sweat-like beggin’ song.  Meh.



Honestly, the best part of Case’s performance was the end when he brought out his father, of whom he acknowledges as the man who taught him how to sing.  Case and his dad embraced on stage and the crowd loved it.  After wards, Case brought out his niece and waved to the crowd.  Very cute and way more classy than stimulated sex on stage.



Case’s album The Rose Experience is currently available.

Jon B. Is That You?

I think almost every woman over 25 who grew up listening to Jon B. while reminiscing about their first love would agree with me: I loves me some Jon B.!  Unfortunately, Jon’s performance didn’t live up to my high school girl fantasies about the brotha.  Of course, that’s not to say Jon’s performance was horrible, because it wasn’t.  I just think his live set would’ve been better received in front of an intimate over-25 crowd who can actually remember the words to They Don’t Know – a.k.a grown folks.


Jon B.

There was no need for Jon to strain his voice yesterday yet he did so while trying to compete with an outdoor crowd and planes flying overhead.  His set went on way too long.  By the time he was covering Michael Jackson’s Rock With You, the tweens standing around me had already lost interest and began holding personal conversations amongst themselves and rapidly texting God knows who on their cell phones.  All in all, his performance was awkward.  Jon B. appeared like a shell of what I thought he’d look like in person (I’m sure my left thigh weighs more than him).  And while he sang his classics with all the emotion he could muster, he over did himself vocally and in terms of set time.  My advice to oldies but goodies like Jon B,. know your audience and keep them wanting more, kinda like Deborah Cox did later in the show (more on my girl Deborah in a minute).


Jon B. album Stronger Everyday is currently available.

Ok, Now I Know Who Ryan Leslie Is.

I admit, the only thing I knew about Ryan Leslie was his epic fail of an artist protege, Cassie.  And because of that, I didn’t trust him as an artist, because really why would I want to listen to a song by a guy who put Cassie on?  Diddy even lost cool points cause of that ish.  But anywhoo, it was apparent that tons of tweens in the audience did not share in my sentiment about Leslie.  As soon as they announce the brotha, young girls were screaming and grabbing their cell phones like the second coming of Michael Jackson was about to hit the stage.


Ryan Leslie

I didn’t know what the hell Leslie was singing during his first song, but one thing I did notice was that his energy was fire!  I gotta give credit where credit is due.  Ryan Leslie came out ready to perform (unlike Case and Jon B. who came before him).  In playing multiple instruments from the keys to the electric guitar, Leslie’s stage presence was certainly an indicator of how to keep the audience involved even if they don’t know your songs (like me).  I kept looking at my friend Esha like “have you heard of this song?” to which she’d reply, “I think I heard it on the radio.”  Ah, of course! No wonder I didn’t know about his music – I don’t listen to the radio or watch videos.  Sue me.


All in all Ryan Leslie’s performance was pretty darn good – and that’s coming from me; an admittedly non-fan of his music before his SummerStage performance.


Ryan Leslie’s album, Ryan Leslie is currently available.

Let The Show Begin!

Deborah Cox

Deborah Cox

See, now I understand why the fellas went first.  It was all a ploy by the Universe to get the crowd so amped up by the ladies’ performances, starting with platinum-recording artist, Deborah Cox.  Okay, so maybe the Universe could pretty much care less, but believe me when I tell you the show took a turn for the best once Ms. Cox hit the stage.  First of all, Ms. Cox came out in a gold sequins shirt with white pants, looking as gorgeous and in shape as she did when she first hit the scene over a decade ago. As true songstresses do, Deborah came out sangin, not singing, but sangin.  Every note was crystal clear and pitch perfect.  Her voice was as strong as her body appeared to be on stage.


Deborah Cox’ album The Promise is currently available.

Ms. Cox didn’t miss a beat and she didn’t need any background singers, dancers, or even a band to help her belt out those high powerful notes she’s so famous for.  Homegirl went on stage by herself and wrecked it.  If fact, once she left the stage after singing her hit Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here, the crowd chanted “Deborah! Deborah! Deborah!”  She came back out to sing a snippet from Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You but at this point the sound system appeared to have blown out.  Yes, ya’ll. Deborah’s vocals were so powerful, she blew the sound system.  Luckily for us, the sound engineers fixed the technical difficulties, just in time for Jazmine Sullivan’s performance.

Enter: Jazmine Sullivan.


Ms. Sullivan was the reason why I wanted to go to SummerStage in the first place.  I told my mom that I couldn’t wait to hear her sing Lions, Tigers, and Bears (my favorite song of ’09).  I became an instant fan of Jazmine’s when I was shopping at Wet Seal one day (shud up!) and I heard her song My Foolish Heart blasting over the sound system.  I asked the Wet Seal lady, “Is that Faith Evans’ new cut?” The young girl looked at me from behind the cash register like I had just took her favorite Louis Vuitton knock off purse, yet kindly replied, “Uh, no. That’s Jazmine Sullivan.”  Oops, my bad.  It wasn’t too long that I had to learn more about this Philly phenom.  First off, like many others, I was perplexed by why this beautiful talent hasn’t gotten much pub since her debut release, or hell, why she didn’t even get a ticket to this year’s BET Awards to at least be recognized for her nominations!  But as the old adage goes; the music industry sucks and so do record companies.  There is no reason why some certain so-called ‘songstresses’ (who shall remain nameless) are all up on the blog sites, getting mad pub, while Jazmine Sullivan has to resort to Cotton commericials in order to reach mainstream audiences.

Anyway, like Deborah, Jazmine rocked SummerStage.  While I was impressed with her Lions, Tigers, and Bears performance, it was her In Love With Another Man performance that was truly breathtaking.  I’m talking goosebumps breathtaking.  Even Diddy and Jon B., who both stood watching from stage left, couldn’t help but be enthralled by Jazmine’s gift.



Yes, Jon, take notes sweet heart. (You too, Diddy).


P. Diddy at SummerStage

Here’s Jazmine’s performance of In Love With Another Man at SummerStage (thanks, Ernest.)

And that, my dears, is how a performance should be done.


Jazmine Sullivan’s album Fearless is currently available.

I’m going to assume ya’ll have home training and your mommas raised you right, so feel free to use my photos but if, and only if, you give me credit by citing my name and/or website.

All photography by Tara L. Conley (cite and link back bishes!!!!).

Me at SummerStage. Photo by Mommy

Me at SummerStage. Photo by Mommy


One Response to “The Ladies Run This: Summerstage 2009!”

  1. Therapist_03 August 11, 2009 at 8:24 am #

    Well done! The pictures were outstanding and you captured and brought Summerstage 2009 …. Centerstage!

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