OAKLAND – It’s been a three year hiatus on concerts due to the pandemic. The New Edition/The Culture Tour made its stop at the Coliseum in Oakland last night and dazzled a sellout crowd that stood on their feet through their entire performance! Not only did it feel good to be out, but to go back down memory lane with the the top boy band of the 80’s was simply outstanding.
New Edition began their set with an old classic “Candy Girl” from their debut album that was released back in 1983. All six members of the group came out in a variety of designer coats and Fedora hats. Bobby Brown’s “Mr. Telephone Man” was the next followed by another classic “If It Isn’t Love” and this time the crowd sung along.
The group which consists of Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Johnny Gill also performed hits from their individual albums. Bel Biv DeVoe “Poison” and “When Will I See You Smile Again?, Tresvant “Sensitivity, Gill’s “Rub You the Right Way” and “My My My” and Brown’s “Every Little Step” “Roni” “My Prerogative” and “Rock Wit’cha”.
It was 90 minutes of hits that also included “N.E Heart Break”, “Count Me Out” “Boys to Men” and the finale was “Can You Stand the Rain”. Many of these songs were recorded when the group were teenagers. Now as adults those songs are still hits! Accompanied by a full band and dancers, New Edition didn’t need any acts to follow. They are now the best band alive that can still sellout a crowd anywhere in the U.S.
Charlie Wilson was another headliner that performed before New Edition. While Wilson was a staple in the music scene long before New Edition and Jodeci, he also took us back down memory lane with his hits. Better known as “Uncle Charlie” Wilson opened with “Party Train” a classic hit from his former group The Gap Band. Wilson and his brothers debut their album back in 1974 and has been performing since.
He sung hits like “Early in the Morning”, “There Goes My Baby”, and “Outstanding” to name a few. Despite a recent knee surgery that kept the superstar limping on stage, Wilson danced along with his background dancers and band throughout his entire set. He had three wardrobe changes that included a spectacular black blazer that lit up and changed colors. He also donned a white sequin suit as well as an orange sequin blazer.
Jodeci opened the show, all four members took the stage and performed their classic hits “Forever My Lady”, “Stay” and “Come & Talk To Me”.
The concert was put on by the Black Promoters Collective (BPC) which is a coalition of six of the nation’s top independent concert promotion and event production companies. Check them out at blackpromoterscollective.com and look out for future concert tours.
Photo by BPC/New Edition