Review: Chrisette Michele Performs at the Birchmere

Arts and EntertainmentReview

The first time I saw Chrisette Michele in concert was about four years ago. She was promoting her first album, I Am, and was performing at the trendy 930 Club in Washington, DC. The venue was standing room only. Back then she put on a good show. She was cute, bubbly, and energetic. On Saturday, January 22, 2011, I had the pleasure of seeing Michele in concert for the second time at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. The venue is much more intimate and relaxed. But that does not keep the crowd from responding to the show.

The band, two background singers, and two ballerinas, dressed in black tutus, took the stage at 8:04 PM. After some brief technical difficulties, the lights came down and Michele graced the stage, which was adorned with black, silver, and white balloon, around 8:15 PM. Dressed in a classy black and sequined dress, Michele belted out her hit “Epiphany (I’m Leaving). The crowd sang along enthusiastically.

The singer followed with “I’m a Star,” the lead single from her new album, Let Freedom Ring. Before belting out the next song “If Nobody Sang Along” Michele talked out the current state of the music industry, lamenting that no one knows who Ella Fitzgerald is anymore. She explained that the song marks the first time that she truly wrote what she wanted to say about the state of music and how surprised she was that the song made the final cut.

Michele performed song “Fragile” and a remixed version of “Golden” to much fanfare. She then introduced her background singers Melissa Music and Ms. Melody. Michele then exited the stage as Melissa introduced the rest of the band.

During the first half of the show, Michele playfully interacted with her back ground singers as she performed. During her most impressive vocal moments, that included her signature scatting techniques, you could see the look of admiration on the faces of her background singers. As an observer, I got the feeling that they sincerely respect the talent and musicality that Michele exudes during her performances.

When Michele and the ballerinas returned (wearing Black leggings, white tanks and suspenders), she performed a gospel-tinged version of her song “Porcelain Doll.” The highlight of the show came during Michele’s performance of her mega hit, “Blame It On Me.” The performance was flawless and the crowd responded enthusiastically.

The next set of songs included emotional performances of “Unsaid,” and “I Don’t Know Why, But I Do.” Michele gave a rousing rendition of her first hit “If I Had May Way.” She concluded the show with the up-tempo song “Number One.”

Seeing Michele for a second time allowed me to witness firsthand the extensive growth that has taken place in her as an artist. This time around Michele exuded the passion and emotions of a woman. She is evidently more confident in herself as a singer and performer. Her short, blond, natural tresses emanate a confidence and self assurance that was not fully developed the first time I saw Michele in concert.

I wasn’t the only one though, as people of all age groups were present in large numbers to watch her perform and those who were unable to get a ticket burst into protests right outside the auditorium blaming the ticketing system, making me lookup online about What is IT Ticketing System?.

The show was excellent. Despite the intimate nature of the concert, Michele still gave a full show, complete with interpretive ballerina dancers. They elevated show to another level. It was evident to all who witnessed the show that we were in the midst of a great performer. I have no doubt that Chrisette Michele will have a long, enduring career. She is without a doubt, a legend in the making.