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  Noir 10.25.01
Noir an entertaining night for new soul, hip-hop

by Chanté LaGon

Venue: Earthlink Live - Atlanta, GA
Presented by: Missing Link Entertainment

Musiq SoulchildWhen the sound man totally screws up and you still go on stage and rock a cappella, that's the epitome of a live show. Ebonie pulled it off, with the crowd backing her up at Missing Link Entertainment's Noir: Urban Spotlight featuring Musiq Soulchild on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Earthlink Live.

Even comedian and singer Jaime Foxx agreed that the vibe was quite tasty. The fact that he was mingling in the lounge area says a lot, about him and the event. Foxx was in town for Laffapalooza, a charitable comedy event. When asked how it feels to be in Atlanta, Jaime said, "Atlanta feels great. It's always good to come check out the Georgia peaches, and I'm going to take a bite of a few." For the record, Jaime was looking mighty yummy himself. Donned in all black, hat down over his eyes — I had to stop myself from asking if he wanted to take a bite of me, all to the tune of the "The Jaime Foxx Show" theme song.

Ebonie's performance was the first to really get the crowd hype. Between waiting two hours for anyone besides the MC (Grif from V-103 FM) to come on stage, and the first act, a guy called Bulldog, I can understand the crowd being cranky.

It was like "Showtime At The Apollo," but without the Sandman — even though I wouldn't have been mad if he swept this misled Midwestern youth off stage. Bulldog's version of hip-hop matched his stage name: ugly, as in bad, not Bubba Sparxxx good. Ebonie was next, and I'm still singing her chorus a week later: "Do you really wanna ride with me? Sometimes I wonder, what! All right, OK!" (This must be pronounced with the dirtiest Atlanta accent a la Pastor Troy an' dem.)

Next up was Nikki, a strong voice backed by radio-friendly R&B. Although her production was tight, she lost the crowd with her lip-syncing and ad-libbed riffs. And her three hot-pink wearing dancers probably got more attention than she did.

Where did Mikhail come from? Apparently, he's been around. He clearly had a following that night, and earned some new fans as well. Complete with coordinated back-up singers, Mikhail worked it out for all the ladies, with enough machismo to deflect any wisecracks from the guys. He was like Atlanta's version of D'Angelo, with more soul brother and a little less I'm-naked-in-my-video gimmick sex. The crowd was so appreciative, Mikhail even did an encore.

I really knew it was Apollo time when all the females flocked to the stage as Musiq Soulchild lit it up. The brother may be a little petite, but he packs a powerful voice and an energetic show. Although the song I was most familiar with was "Love," folks in the crowd knew the words to his other selections. And his rendition of Mos Def's "Shine Your Light on the World" was about as good as the original I'd heard at the 2000 Montreux Music Festival.

Noir was absolutely live, from the fashion — even the Kool girls looked like they were wearing Gucci — to the talent to the vibe. If the only music you appreciate is without words and you love running into people that you always see, Noir is not the place for you. But if it's a good time and a different scene you want, be on the lookout for the next installation....

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