The sweet and sultry voice of Ms. Baker is unmatched, and at 60 years old she still sounds as fresh as her debut album “The Songstress” in 1983.
As a young girl riding in the car listening to “The Quiet Storm” on KBLX with my mother, I would sing along with Ms. Baker’s hits. I was too young to understand her lyrics, but something in my spirit resonated with the passion she delivered through the stories she told. Little did I know, her music would later take me through the ups and downs of relationships, and even self-love.
A few years ago I added Anita Baker to my bucket list. I vowed that if she ever decided to go back on tour before retiring, then I was going no matter what! Well, luckily for me that day came sooner than later. When I heard about her “Farewell Tour,” I started to keep tabs on its locations, and when I saw tickets go on sale in Oakland, CA, I didn’t hesitate to purchase. The tickets sold out within 48 hours (not surprised!).
September 8th came quickly! I was so excited the entire day that I could hardly focus. I put on a classy, yet edgy short fringe dress and crystal embellished sling-back heels. I curled my hair and pilled on the makeup; I. WAS. READY.
Of course, Auntie Anita (what I affectionately call her) headlined her own event, so there wasn’t an opening act. Just her. No intermission.
The famous Ray Chew led the band and her background singers were amazing, but none of which came close to Auntie Anita’s natural instrument; her voice. She has a soft and graceful personality that packs a feisty punch! Fans were filming her as she started the concert, so she changed the lyrics of her song and kindly asked them to “put your phone down, you’re distracting me,” the audience laughed, and phones went down as she continued her ballad.
She sang many of her top hits and fan favorites. At times the theater sang the songs for her as she danced around the stage and told us “The band is all yours!” After we finished singing the song run for run, and scat for scat, she would ask if she could sing it to us and we quietly listened.
That night was one that I will never forget and will carry with me forever. I am grateful that I was able to witness a legend perform and fulfill a lifelong dream for myself. I recommend treating yourself if you are a fan! Thank you Ms. Baker, for blessing us with a live performance one last time. Farewell!
*My cousin and enjoying a moment of a lifetime!
My favorite songs are “Sweet Love”, “Caught Up in the Rapture,” “You Bring Me Joy,” and “Fairytales.”
**Spoiler Alert: she did not sing “Angel” or “You Bring Me Joy.” I’m not sure why because these were MAJOR hits in my opinion, but then again I love all of her songs! She sang for an hour and forty-five minutes straight, and her voice never cracked or wavered. She gave a high-quality performance that was worth every penny.