Come X-mas time, New Yorkers look to Miracle On 34th Street to warm their hearts. That's a movie though, and in NYC, shit hasn't always been candy cane sweet. It's taken Times Square a lot longer to clean up than Herald Square. Even now that the busy midtown area is all tourist-y, when the Lion King lets out, and Madame Tussauds closes, there is still a chance of catching the good, the bad, and the ugly lurking out front of B.B. King Blues Club & Grill after a sold out show.
Since the installation of the nightclub named after the Tennessee blues icon, things have been on the up-and-up for Times Square. This year, B.B. King's turns ten years-old. Congratulate the Bensusan family owners on their run after they first opened the Blue Note Jazz Club on the other side of town. They've been part of the transformation of Forty Deuce from the cesspool of sex, and drugs it used to be in the '80s and '90s. While it's been more recognized for it's more adult contemporary acts, the talent that takes the stage gleans all genres: jazz, R&B, hip-hop, rock. Patti Labelle and Chuck Berry will be the main attractions this June for the anniversary concert. To commemorate the great venue, we've compiled five great shows from 2009. See the list below.
THE DREAM "SHAWTY IS A 10", "I LUV YOUR GIRL" LIVE
The great thing about The Dream is that he doesn't really have to sing at his shows. Terius Nash really lets the audience do all the work. Do they complain? Nah-ah-ahhh [Dream staccatto]. It's worked out for the best because when auto-tune isn't there to help with some of those more strenuous notes, the audience is right there to be his training wheels. Smart man.
THE CAST OF FELA AT THE ROOTS 3RD ANNUAL HOLIDAY JAM
?uestlove wants you to see Fela! When you have songs from a major broadway musical, plus the cast members performing them for a holiday concert, that headline reading, "Produced by Jay-Z, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett-Smith" starts to make a lot more sense. Watch the clip, then click here to enter our free ticket giveaway to Fela! on Broadway.
FREDDIE JACKSON PERFORMS ON VALETINE'S DAY
Chubby soulmen can still break hearts, but the '80s soulman came out to his V-Day concert to shatter them when he showed up slimmer than his throwback look. Big ups!
GOODIE MOB REUNITES
Atlanta's Dungeon Family brethren are hip-hop but let's not forget that soulful backbone that all its members have. When the group broke up in 2002, hip-hop would endure seven years of hunger pains for the collective of Cee-Lo, T-Mo, Big Gipp, and Khujo. Now the question of "Who's Gonna Save My Soul?" is reserved for the future of Gnarls Barkley.
EN VOGUE REUNITES
The original Funky Divas of En Vogue put aside their differences and made their second chance at a reunion better than the first.
The Dawn Robinson joined Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones, for another go at a truly complete performance, since she missed the first one. The crowd held on to every word, starting with the acapella riffing at the beginning of "Hold On." Yep, 2010 at B.B. King's is gonna be a mutha.