Andy Martin Jr. // ZUMA Press
Maxwell is one superstar who knows balance. He keeps his private life private and makes music so powerful that, despite putting out albums every seven to eight years, allows him to remain a touring attraction. On May 23, his 44th birthday, he embarked on his Summers' Tour 17 which features Ledesi and a rotation of Common and Leela James as supporting acts.
Last night, the Brooklyn soul legend was less than an hour (in good traffic) from his stomping grounds as he brought his praised catalog to Nassau Coliseum in Long Island.
Max, in every sense of the words, is a professional singer. No yelling at a sound man to fix his mic, no miscues with his band, not one wrinkle in his suit, and certainly no missed notes. He danced, he engaged with the audience, and he brought hits for over an hour.
Max started unconventionally with a ballad, his smash "Pretty Wings." And even though he didn't vie to go uptempo to commence, he still had the energy high and people on their feet. His successful wooing of the ladies carried on with "Bad Habits" and one of his most signature blockbusters, "Fortunate."
"I wanna shout out all the ladies and the daughters and the married couples who have been with us for 22 years and sticking with my crazy ass," Max said. Later, he asked, "Y'all gonna sing this with me? You promise?" Even though the women in the crowd didn't know what the selection he wanted assistance on was, they wholeheartedly vowed to croon with him. And to be honest, he could have started singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Luckily he went with something a little sexier, "...Till The Cops Come Knockin'."
"I'm here for the people who can't pull it together like me," he later said, laughing after saluting all the couples in the crowd. He then smiled as he said that the next part was dedicated to all the dysfunctional people that can't keep relationships.
Maxwell's victory remained flawless with nothing but top tier classics to end. "Lifetime" was followed by "Sumthin' Sumthin'" and "Get To Know Ya."
"I don't take it for granted. I truly do appreciate you," the Grammy Award winner said about the love he was showered with. And while some singers send you home with a power ballad, Maxwell sent the coliseum home dancing. He went all the way back to the start of his hitmaking with "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)" to close out. Grown and sexy music at its zenith.
Ledesi acknowledged the "Grown Ass Women" in the crowd during her set. "She don't have time to compete with other women " she described of the titular type. "She's competing with herself from last year." She continued with sentiment with the empowering "Pieces Of Me" and had the people standing on "Alright."
"They told me, 'You're not pretty enough, you'll never make it,'" she began to reflect. "Nine Grammy nominations and seven albums later..." She was interrupted by applause. "I'm not bragging," she clarified. "I'm saying, 'what if I would have listened?'" She told the people to always have faith. The empress crooner's glow-up love anthem "I Blame You" was the perfect followup.
Maxwell and Ledesi are on tour through the end of this month.