FEATURE: MAXWELL Fulfills Birmingham’s I.O.U. (concert review)


bjcc_arenaThe following is a review of Maxwell’s appearance November 10, 2008 at BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama. Enjoy.

While the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex marquee flashed ‘MAXWELL – TONIGHT’ the Concert Hall was filling up with single women, single men and couples who cherish the realness of the R&B genre of music. It was something different about this audience. This was a “listeners who were intransigent supporters of the acclaimed soul singer MAXWELL” audience. This quaint and intimate venue flowed with a buzz of excitement as the people anticipated having a MAXnificent [definition: magnificent] MAXWELL concert experience.

As the house lights dimmed, the audience took their cue in honoring the forthcoming MAXWELL and the Live ‘08 Band by standing ovation. Birmingham expressed their love and appreciation for the presence of the unfortunately long awaited Soul Man and musical genius by showing that there were no hard feelings regarding the canceled 2001 Birmingham concert. Instead, there was only affection and respect for him. Birmingham made positively sure that MAXWELL was primed for the finest southern hospitality in the state of Alabama by literally showing him that this is how we do it!

“Get to know Ya,” opened Maxwell’s entrance as he graced the stage with sincere humility, as if he were entering into our home and desiring to just spend some time with those who showed such an overwhelming welcome of enthusiasm. Immediately following the opening song, the first unsung word that he expressed to the fans was that he was truly and sincerely sorry for the 2001 cancellation, and he asked the locals if they would please forgive him. There were shouts of “We love you MAXWELL!” and “You’re the Man!” The applause given assured him that Birmingham was ecstatic and appreciative that he kept his long awaited promise. No one was there to relive what might have happened in 2001. Concert-goers were there anticipating the moment of the now in 2008!

He joked that it was only “six years,” except, it seemed as though the crowd was actually having a conversation with him. He was reminded that it was seven years to be exact! Maxwell in turn agreed, and stated, “How could I have been so foolish to have missed out on all of this?” and he added, “It was sincerely for personal reasons. Now, I know why they say Sweet Home Alabama.” He went on to thank the audience for being so gracious in allowing him to come and entertain them.

The soulful songwriter, singer is never short of lyrical genius. The crowd went into a wild passion of celebration when MAXWELL mentioned the President, Barack Obama, as he sang the audience favorite, “Lifetime.” He dedicated “This Woman’s Work,” to all the women and sung this song of popular choice in his marked falsetto voice that kept the house on their feet, while he was down on both knees as he serenaded Birmingham with his whole being. Couples were flattered as he dedicated “Fortunate” giving them the opportunity to share sentiments of love and romance while they slowed danced in the aisles and in near their seats. Classics from Urban Hang Suite, Embrya and Now kept the audience in the groove. He took time to connect with the fans as he introduced “Pretty Wings” and “Bad Habits” by sharing his purpose in writing the songs. These new tracks will indisputably be favorites of Alabama.

Half the crowd laughed and half were puzzled, as he picked up a pair of Granny panties that were thrown onto the stage. The crowd didn’t know if that was acceptable and wondered how he would even handle the situation. As you may have well guessed, he kept them laughing by informing the audience that there was a message written on the panties. He read out loud the name of the woman and the message she wrote for him to call her. He wiped his forehead and tucked them in his back tuxedo pocket and replied, “I’ll be calling you later!”

Would you have imagined that MAXWELL enjoys good Thai food? He shared his Alabama experience by complimenting a well known Birmingham local Thai Restaurant where he satisfied his appetite and generously gave away tickets to a few ladies who gladly showed their appreciation when he called out into the audience asking, “Where are you?”

It was comforting to the fans to have heard him announce the “Good News” that the release of the first album of the upcoming trilogy; “Black” is to be released sometime in February. There, no less, was a vibrating applause that swept through the house that was almost deafening. Again, he thanked the audience for coming out and joining him in the Black Summers’ Night Trilogy Pre-Party Celebration.

The notable “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” didn’t seem as if it was a conclusion to the evening, but, was indeed an invitation to join him on his musical journey towards the future. Birmingham, Alabama is exceptionally anxious about his return tour in the upcoming year.

I have never in my lifetime witnessed an R&B artist go underground and disappear for seven years and return without a newly released album and successfully go on concert tour and be received with such admiration, love and appreciation . After giving it some thought; other R&B artists are not as MAXWELL is.

Mr. MAXWELL, thank you for keeping your promise.
You have paid your I.O.U. in full!

Excited about the music!

“MAXWELL Fulfills Birmingham’s I.O.U.” feature concert review for The Latest Maxwell News presents “From the Other Side of the Side a Maxwell fan’s perspective.”

Copyright Softly Juree © 2008. All words were used with permission of the owner. Special thanks to the owner for allowing The Latest Maxwell News to feature her concert review.


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5 Responses to “FEATURE: MAXWELL Fulfills Birmingham’s I.O.U. (concert review)”

  1. Mis-T Says:

    Juree, I attended this one and you captured it so well. I was really pleased with not 1 but 2 encores from him and doing WWW was very special as that is probably my favorite song (this week :-)) Were you in LA and here too? Dang girl, I want YOUR j.o.b.!!! HAHAHAHAHA! Thank you for the great article… and if you have an in to Mr. M, please remind him that we were looking for that V-day gift in ’06 so… LOL!

  2. Mis-T Says:

    OOPS! I think that was ’07 — my bad!!

  3. SJ Says:

    Thank you so much for the compliment.
    So glad we shared the same show with the Soul Man!

  4. toys3boys Says:

    Thanks for that loving tribute in your article he is a true artist and gentleman a man of his word. love you Maxwell

  5. riisey Says:

    What a wonderful review, I am a maxwell fan and I really enjoyed reading it. GOD has really BLESSED maxwell and I believe he is humble enough to know it, unfortunately I did not make it to birmingham to the concert although I do live in auburn. Maxwell keep your head up and stay prayed up. You have an overwhelming fan base.GOD BLESS.

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