Written by | Ray Cornelius
While everyone was up to their knees in “Stankonia” at Outkast’s 20th Anniversary Finale Concert in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, I was on the other side of town enjoying the rich sounds of singer-songwriter, Luke James. The Grammy-nominated performer brought his multi-city tour to Midtown Atlanta’s Vinyl Sunday night for an evening of bonafide soul music.
The mostly female audience filled the intimate space from front to back, hoping to catch a glimpse of R&B’s “it” boy. The show opened with newcomer, George Tandy, Jr., who performed a medley of tunes including his Billboard topping single, “March.” Tandy, who reminds me slightly of Usher (circa 2000), flirted and teased the audience with his soft tenor vocals while engaging them in a few “call and response” songs about relationships gone wrong.
After a brief intermission, Luke James took over the stage like a ravenous wolf, dressed in all black from head to toe. The 30-year-old New Orleans bred-singer, who recently opened for Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter Tour, began his set with the infectious, “Dancing in the Dark.” From there, he led his screaming fans through a number of other sensual grooves such as “Oh God,” “Options,” “Make Love to Me,” “Stay with me,” and “Strawberry Vapors.”
This was my third time seeing James in action and each show is better than the one before. The intensity in which he delivers his songs coupled with those tender moments of vulnerability is priceless and rarely seen in some of today’s artists. Believe me, there is nothing mechanical or artificial about a Luke James show. After the 75-minute long set, James ended with two of my personal favorites, “IOU” and the Grammy-nominated, “I Want You.”
After the show, James met with Atlanta press for a brief Q&A and photo session. During that time, he talked about his musical influences (Marvin Gaye, Prince, and Donny Hathaway) and his admiration for Beyoncé’s career. He also talked about his desire for future collabs with Jessie James, Jazmine Sullivan and Kanye West.
Check out photos below and video from the Q&A:
George Tandy, Jr.’s first single, “March,” peaked at no. 3 on the Billboard charts
George Tandy, Jr. dancing on stage during his set
George Tandy, Jr. giving out CDs to his fans
Luke James rocking the stage as he performs, “Dancing in the Dark”
Luke James recently opened for Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter World Tour
Luke James says his musical influences are Marvin Gaye, Prince and Donny Hathaway
Luke James talking to Atlanta press
RC with Luke James
[youtube id=”VMcUzlJL10Q” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com