Ledisi / February 15, 2008 / New York (Highline Ballroom)
Ledisi's performance at New York City's Highline Ballroom was emotional both for performer and audience; it was like a religious experience.Ledisi's performance at New York City's Highline Ballroom was emotional both for performer and audience; it was like a religious experience. The crowd, spread out throughout the bi-level, supper-club styled venue, stood up, stomped, waved their hands, clapped along and even cried to the Grammy-nominated singer's music.
Clad in a back sequined dress and red leather pumps, the New Orleans-born, Oakland-bred singer performed a compact set of just under a dozen songs. She was backed by a live band from Washington DC and three background singers.
"If you're living and breathing, you're alright. Ya'll better learn how to love yourselves," Ledisi said before breaking into her hit single, "It’s Alright," off her 2007's Grammy-nominated "Lost And Found" (Verve). When she sang the words, "Wish I had some money to pay my bills, but it’' alright," the audience clapped in unison to show their agreement.
Before transitioning to the next song, she spoke directly to those in the audience who might be in "dysfunctional relationships." "Ladies, some of y'all don't know how to let go," she said. "[You're] waiting late at night for him to call you, for his voice to answer the phone so you can tell him how much you need him and want him for the 150th time. Wondering, will he be there in the morning?" Then she began belting out the first lines of the sensual "In The Morning,"
Ledisi closed the show with "Take Time," from her first album, 2001's "Soul Singer," and reminded everyone listening to take a minute out of their busy lives for themselves. "12 years, same job, working and not living, afraid to leap, thinking 'this is what I'm supposed to be doing,' knowing damn well that's not true. Working that overtime. When are you going to do overtime on you?" she harmonized in a crackling voice with tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Look at me now, in my red shoes walking down red carpets. If I'd know it was going to be this good, I would've leapt a long time ago," she proclaimed before thanking the members of the audience, many of which were crying themselves.