Elle Varner | BET Experience: Music Matters | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The fifth act I was able to catch was Elle Varner; an R&B artist who emerged during the early 2010s, whose single “Refill” charted in March 2012. Her debut album, “Perfectly Imperfect”, was one of the only female R&B albums that I purchased that year.

Currently working on her sophomore album, she recently released a single titled “Don’t Wanna Dance” featuring A$AP Ferg. If her follow up is anything like her debut, I’ll be sure to pick up a copy of it to add it to my collection.

Check out Elle’s Facebook page to keep up with her music. CLICK HERE to get redirected to Facebook.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Elle Varner performed at this concert.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

LiV Warfield | BET Experience: Centric Certified | 6/29/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.

The first act I was able to catch was LiV Warfield, a powerful R&B vocalist and member of Prince’s New Power Generation. Prince is high on LiV, and the public should be too.

Passionate, soulful and dynamic, her live performance is one that engages the audience and gives everyone a serious case of happy feet. It certainly didn’t hurt that she was supported by a first class band (with Prince’s NPG Hornz).

I was duly impressed with her set, and I highly recommend catching her perform live when she is in your town.

Like her Facebook page by CLICKING HERE to keep updated on her touring.

Setlist:

  1. The Unexpected
  2. NotGVNGUP
  3. Soul Lifted
  4. Why Do You Lie
  5. Black Bird

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs LiV Warfield performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Tank | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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Hosted by the former Rap City and 106 & Park host Big Tigger, perhaps my favorite part of the BET Experience FREE Fan Fest was the intimate afternoon of performances at the Acoustically Speaking showcase. Taped live in front of an audience of not more than 300, the performances and interviews gave me an opportunity to “Experience” the sounds of some seriously talented, developing and established recording artists.

Each artist performed a short set of 4-5 songs. Each performance was followed by a one-on-one interview with Big Tigger. The performances and the interviews gave audience members an opportunity to really connect with each of the artists. It was truly a one of a kind performance experience.

Closing the Acoustically Speaking showcase was Tank. Clearly, his performance was for the ladies. As he walked on the she stage in his fitted, all-black, three-peice suit, the females in the audience erupted with pleasure. Clearly, he knows how to cater to his audience, even interrupting the performance by walking off-stage to give a zealous fan a hug.

But perhaps the most genuine moment of the set was when he gave his young daughter, sitting two rows behind me, a shout out and preached that he does what he does for the women (his daughter and his wife) in his life. In a fit of approval, his daughter went HAM with cheers of approval. Cuteness overload.

During his interview with Big Tigger, he dropped some updates on the projects he was working one, giving the audience of females a chance to cheer some more with his announcement that TGT (his collaborative musical efforts with Tyrese and Ginuine) was in the process of putting together another album.

Hopefully, BET will air the entire performance and interview at some point, but in the meantime, CLICK HERE to check out what video clips have been posted on BET’s website.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Tank performed at this concert.

By this time in the day, my second (and last) battery pack was running on empty. My camera intermittently shut off while I was shooting this performance, and I didn’t really have time (or the battery) to set the camera to the right settings, so I shot with whatever setting my camera was already set at. I wish the photos could have been better, but I guess I’ll have to live with them. Next time, I’ll remember to bring a THIRD battery pack. LOL.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Faith Evans | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [PHOTOS]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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Hosted by the former Rap City and 106 & Park host Big Tigger, perhaps my favorite part of the BET Experience FREE Fan Fest was the intimate afternoon of performances at the Acoustically Speaking showcase. Taped live in front of an audience of not more than 300, the performances and interviews gave me an opportunity to “Experience” the sounds of some seriously talented, developing and established recording artists.

Each artist performed a short set of 4-5 songs. Each performance was followed by a one-on-one interview with Big Tigger. The performances and the interviews gave audience members an opportunity to really connect with each of the artists. It was truly a one of a kind performance experience.

The third artist to perform brought the house down. Faith Evans, a grammy award winning, singer-songwriter, is finishing up her 8th studio album, tentatively titled Incomparable and which is scheduled for release later this year, brought so much fire to her short set, the crowd couldn’t handle it, and was the only artist of the afternoon who was cheered onto the stage for an encore.

Faith’s set consisted of songs new and old, mixing up her set with R&B jams and ballads and an original gospel tune. After the performance of her gospel song, when she was called back onto the stage to perform an encore, she jumped into her classic “Love Like This”, during which she encouraged some of her audience members to come onto the stage to dance and sing with her.

After the crowd had settled down, and the interview commenced, Big Tigger stated as a matter of fact that Faith’s performance, “went from the church to the club in less than five minutes.” It was true and it was awesome to bear witness.

Make sure you folllow Faith Evans on Twitter so you can keep up with her album release updates.

CLICK HERE to check out a collection of Instagram videos of most, if not all, of the songs Faith Evans performed at this concert.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Elle Varner | BET Experience: Music Matters | 6/29/14 [Instagram Videos]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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Similar to Centric TV’s “Centric Certified” initiative, the flagship BET channel “Music Matters” spotlight also aims to  highlight the next BET superstars through music, bios, music videos, photos and intimate interviews where the artists explain who they are and what music means to them.

Each artist performed a short set of around 4-5 songs. It was a great opportunity to discover (or rediscover) a number of both up-and-coming and established recording artists do their thing within an afternoon.

Being up close to the artist while they performed gave me the opportunity to take some really good pictures. Please follow me so you can get notified when they get posted.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES/EVENTS THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

LiV Warfield| BET Experience: Centric Certified | 6/29/14 [Instagram Videos]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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One of the BET channels is  Centric TV. Musicians who are “Centric Certified” are promoted as music’s next superstars through album streams, music videos, photos and intimate interviews where the artists share who they are and what music means to them. Though I was only able to catch one of their selections of the day, it was definitely one that I high on catching perform live: LiV Warfield.

Being up close to the artist while they performed gave me the opportunity to take some really good pictures. Please follow me so you can get notified when they get posted.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES/EVENTS THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Tank | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [Instagram Videos]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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One of the BET Experience Fan Fest events that I was given permission to cover was the Acoustically Speaking series. I had absolutely no problem with that. Scheduled from 2pm – 6:30, various artists performed a short set of songs “unplugged” followed by an interview with the host, Big Tigger. It was a taped event, so I’m sure that these episodes will be edited for broadcast. Based on who I saw perform, I can affirmatively say that each artist is worth tuning in for.

Being up close to the artist while they performed gave me the opportunity to take some really good pictures. Please follow me so you can get notified when they get posted.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES/EVENTS THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Faith Evans | BET Experience: Acoustically Speaking | 6/28/14 [Instagram Videos]

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES/EVENTS THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

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One of the BET Experience Fan Fest events that I was given permission to cover was the Acoustically Speaking series. I had absolutely no problem with that. Scheduled from 2pm – 6:30, various artists performed a short set of songs “unplugged” followed by an interview with the host, Big Tigger. It was a taped event, so I’m sure that these episodes will be edited for broadcast. Based on who I saw perform, I can affirmatively say that each artist is worth tuning in for.

Being up close to the artist while they performed gave me the opportunity to take some really good pictures. Please follow me so you can get notified when they get posted.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER PERFORMANCES/EVENTS THAT I CAUGHT DURING THE BET EXPERIENCE AT L.A. LIVE

Pharrell Williams | Coachella | 4/12/14 (PHOTOS)

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Everybody loves Pharrell, myself included. My passion for his music all started with his work in N.E.R.D. “In Search Of…”, released in 2001, was on of the dopest albums I had heard in a long while. I even brushed off my yellow, N.E.R.D. mesh cap from back in the day to wear the day of the festival. I dunno, maybe I thought I could get Pharrell’s attention or something. Total fanboy move. I’m 37. SMDH. LOL.

His set week one was RIDICULOUS. I anticipated it to be a spectacle, but I had no idea of all of the star power that he would be bringing up to the stage. I work for Doggy Style Records, and even I didn’t know that Snoop would be showing up! Now, that’s how you keep a secret! Nelly, Snoop, Busta Rhymes, Puff Daddy and Gwen Stefani, all joined Pharrell on stage to perform the songs he produced, cowrote or simply collaborated on. Simply ridiculous. Oh how I wish that I could have been able to stay in the photo pit for his entire set…

If there was an award to be given out for best show that Saturday, I think Pharrell would have taken the belt. To make the set even better for me, personally, I think I took my favorite shot of the festival (even though I still have to carefully look through my shots from Sunday) during his set, which is the featured pic at the top. In front of tens of thousands of fans, I think I was able to capture the look of serenity on the face of an artist who is truly at home, on stage, performing for his fans.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT BLOG ENTRIES OF OTHER BANDS I SAW AT COACHELLA!

Solange | FYF Festival | August 25, 2013

To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.

Solange
Solange

Having been blown away by Beyonce when I saw her perform at the Staples Center earlier in the year, I thought it was only right to see her younger sister, Solange, perform. I had heard good things about her latest album, Solo Star, and even better things about her EP, True, so I ventured over to the stage where she was set to perform.

As it was when I saw Beyonce perform, I felt a little out of place. Most of the audience members were young women, but casting any uneasy feelings aside, I held my ground and braced myself for the experience. As an aside, for me, there’s really no more uneasy feeling that going to a concert “blind” without having any knowledge or sense of what was to come.

Beyonce, to put it bluntly, blew my mind. It’s hard for anybody, let alone a sister, to live up to the “Beyonce standard”. When Solanage took to the stage, all I could think about was how Solange personally reconciles the comparisons and expectations. From what I had read, Solange’s music leaned more on mid to late ’60’s soul or eccentric synth-funk than modern hip-hop, pop sensibilities of her older sis.

Solange
Solange

The crowd warmly greeted Solange to the stage and backed with a full band she commenced her set. Lacking the kind of big-budget, stage production that Beyonce incorporates into her shows, Solange relied on her personality and “vibe” to engage the audience. Her music was mature and smooth, and carried with it a style classy and sophisticated. There were no choreographed dancers, but Solange used the entire stage effectively, addressing the entire audience.  When digging deep into emotional songs, close up shots of her face projected on the video screen monitors showed someone crafting her own style and meaning to the music.

I enjoyed her set, and though I can’t visualize her having the type of career or stardom her sister has already achieved, she can, and most likely will, carve out her own path and will be making her brand of music for years to come.

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Solange
Solange.
Solange.
Solange looking eerily like her sister.
Solange looking eerily like her sister.