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In my Sophia Patrillo (Golden Girls) voice I say: “Picture this, Philadelphia 2011; It was a hot and rainy night. R&B music lovers converged upon the Dell Music Center expecting to experience a eargasmic from three chart topping crooners Avant, Tank & Ginuwine.”

STICKY- The weather was warm on Thursday July 28th with a bit of cloud cover. The clouds hung low as if they were angry that they were not acknowledged in the playbill or on the Markee. At first the cloud presence was dismissed but later they would put on a production that would almost steal the show. Avant was the first of the three main acts to take the stage. He was casually dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans. His got people in the mood right away. Avant has 6 albums and quite a few hits off each. Between songs he acknowledged how much “they” were rushing his performance and that he has “way more songs than this” and he exclaimed, “Next time I’m comin’ by my damn self.” That sounded a bit snippy. I wondered if someone pressed his buttons before the show, who knows but he continued with his 55 minute set. Avant’s set included a half worked tribute to Michael Jackson with a performance of Human Nature (which he admitted not knowing all the words to), material from his new album and a very suggestive moment with one hand in his gray draws (underwear for the ebonically challenged) while the other hand pulled both pants and draws down to just above the hair line. The audience needed to cool drink after that one.

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WET- Five minutes after Avant’s set the sky opened up and dripped then streamed then poured rain on the audience. Some people, like my wonderful companion, were prepared with gulf sized umbrellas others were not so lucky. The First Aid Tent triaged the situation by providing much needed cover to those with no cover of their own. The rain’s performance was indecisive at best; it would rain then stop then rain again all night. Ginuwine finally takes the stage once the rain slows up a bit. his first few songs were performed in the audience so he “could get wet with everyone else.” The noble gesture of “joining the audience” was the only thing that excited me about his performance. Ginuwine’s vocal quality was good but the performance lacked polish, flow and continuity. There was an attempted to pay tribute to Michael Jackson by coming on stage dressed in the infamous red Beat It Jacket and the white glove, the band dropped the beat of Beat It; then one spin-pose-hip pump later the tribute was over. The flow of this performance was continuously interrupted by Ginuwine or his hype man asking question or making statements to the audience. Questions? I was thinking “Man would you just sing the song please!” That part of the show was a bit soggy…

HOT- Tank was the final performer of the evening. It was clear that many of the women were there to see him because a large crowd ran to the front of the stage once he began to sing. He was dressed in a dark gray suit with a black shirt and looking wonderfully chiseled. His set was smooth, inviting and exciting especially when he handed two women $40 for their mani & pedis, one women received $100 for her weave and another was given $100 for driving from Pittsburgh to see the show. He concluded the “spending spree” with “Tell ’em Tank paid for that.” Nice! I’m sure many people wanted him to pay for an umbrella and some rain boots by the time the show was over.

All in all the Ladies Night Out concert at the Dell was very entertaining and a nice way to spend a rainy summer night. -Tiffany Bacon, concert reviewer. For more reviews, videos and blog posts visit TiffanyBaconOnline.com

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