Maxwell's Saturday night (June 26) concert at Madison Square Garden was also a homecoming for the R&B star, who held back tears while thanking loyal fans for making his childhood dream come true. "I came from a very simple background," said the East New York native, who recalled riding his bike on the streets surrounding the Garden during his pre-fame days. "I just can't believe I'm on this stage right now."
Joined by a powerhouse band that included jazz greats Chris Dave on drums and Robert Glasper on keys, Maxwell brought the current leg of his arena tour to a close with an unsurprisingly smooth, sexy and nearly flawless set that drove his female fans wild. The singer continued to prove that he hasn't lost a step in the seven years of hiatus that preceded the release of latest album, "BLACKsummers'night." Mixing the nimble footwork of James Brown with the tenderness of Al Green, he performed such soulful "BLACKsummers'night" hits as "Pretty Wings" and "Bad Habits," the latter of which was accompanied by a wipe-down with panties, courtesy of a female fan.
Maxwell made plenty of time for old favorites, too, performing "This Woman's Work," "Fortunate," "Ascension" and "Reunion," which was sealed with a kiss for a lucky admirer in the front row. In remembrance of Michael Jackson, who passed away one year ago, Maxwell revived the King of Pop's "Thriller" ballad, "The Lady In My Life."
Taking over where opener Jill Scott left off on Friday, Erykah Badu kicked off the show with a set both deep and playful in its arrangements. The R&B provocateur rhymed over a variety of grooves, from her own breakthrough hit "On & On" and cuts from her latest album "New Amerykah, Pt. 2: Return of the Ankh" to a freestyle breakdown over Freddie Hubbard's 1970 jazz classic, "Red Clay." Unfortunately, MSG staff kept to the clock and tossed on the lights during "Didn't Cha Know," depriving the crowd of hearing Badu's first No. 1 Adult R&B hit in 11 years and what would have been her final number of the night, "Window Seat."
Here is Maxwell's setlist:
"This Woman's Work"
"Fistful of Tears"
"Stop the World"
"Simply Beautiful" (Al Green cover)
"The Lady in my Life" (Michael Jackson cover)
"Till the Cops Come Knockin'"
"Don't Say Goodnight" (Isley Brothers cover)
Here is Erykah Badu's setlist:
"20 Feet Tall"
"Out My Mind, Just In Time"
"The Healer (Hip Hop)
"On and On"
"I Want You"
"Didn't Cha Know"