I remember listening to Angie‘s “Mahogany Soul” back in high-school when most of the music I listened to was R&B and hip-hop. It was definitely one of the best R&B albums at the time, and in my humble opinion, it continued being what it was back then. Surely, “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” was a global hit, but anything else Angie has done was just as great. I never thought I would get to see Angie Stone perform live, but here we are!
Thanks to Musicology we were able to see Angie perform in our country, for the first time ever, in the series of concerts named Musicology Barcaffè Sessions. The idea of Musicology Barcaffè Sessions is to bring R&B, soul, funk, blues, jazz stars who usually perform at bigger venues, to have a smaller, intimate concert, where it is much easier for a performer to make a connection with the audience, and vice versa.
The opening act was Manivi (you can check out her Facebook), also known as Ivana Vukmirović, who performed with her band. To be honest, I had no idea that this artist existed, up until maybe couple of weeks ago, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I never realized that Serbia was missing an actual R&B/soul artist, and here she was. Manivi‘s music reminded me a bit of Erykah Badu, Akua Naru at some points, Lauryn Hill even, pretty much a mix of every R&B/soul diva I ever liked, along with her own personal “signature” that made her sound unique. The band was amazing, playing every chord perfectly, and the energy they brought right before Angie was truly dynamic. Definitely a band to look out for.
After a short break, Angie Stone‘s bandmates started arriving on the stage, slowly taking their spots and preparing us for Angie‘s entrance. Finally, she arrived, and I couldn’t believe she was right there in front of me. Yes, there was a job to do (taking photos), but I couldn’t help singing a bit, and even swaying a little to “I Wanna Thank Ya“, at least as much as I could while taking photos, trying so hard not to have them all blurry. The crowd was cheering, singing and dancing to the sound of Angie’s voice and band’s amazing musicianship. I don’t think anyone in the crowd ever thought they would get to experience The Angie Stone Experience. The connection was definitely made, right from the start, when Angie talked about how their luggage got lost and how they were sorry they were not more uniformed for the performance, which I thought was cute, since I wouldn’t even realize that that’s what happened – to me, they were all dressed real nice. They performed songs from pretty much every album, putting a musical twist to each of them, giving them more funky, upbeat vibe for us to dance and sway to. I don’t know how many people can fit into the venue at Kalemegdan, but to me it seemed pretty full. Angie spoke a bit in between each song, mostly telling a story about the next one. She said she heard there were floods and heavy rain here and she prayed that the rain would stop and that is how she introduced the song “No More Rain (In This Cloud)“. At the end of the concert, and I am certain I have not seen this anywhere else before, Angie asked the audience to clap, in three different ways (she “assigned” which groups from the audience should clap in what way) and as they were finishing the concert with “Wish I Didn’t Miss You“, the crowd really did their best to clap the way Angie wanted them to, and it sounded so amazing! Hopefully, Angie and the band thought the same and I hope they had as good as time as we did. Thank you Angie Stone for this wonderful experience, and thank you Musicology for making this possible!