Seeing the performance delivered by singer TreG at the Grandel on Saturday would make one long for the good old days in the music industry when major label scouts regularly dipped into cities for performances based on word of mouth or other buzz to see what local artists had to offer.
Had the show taken place in the not so distant past, some label exec would be in a room among influencers telling others not to sleep on St. Louis.
As the headliner, TreG had the most to prove with the show. He did not disappoint, but neither did the opening talent.
Maxa gave a cute showing. Eric Donte could use some polishing – which will come naturally with more experience on stage. But his confidence was commendable.
Katarra Parson was best in show among the openers with her handful of selections from her debut CD Cocoa Voyage. And DJ Hoodbunny never let the energy lapse in between acts.
Main attraction TreG, born Tre’von Griffith, delivered a performance he seemed to be waiting his whole life to give.
Early in the show, he used audio clips from a Little Richard interview, where the flamboyant soul, rock and pop music pioneer boldly proclaims, “If you got it, show it to the world!”
The statement was audacious, but one that TreG seems to have made sure he was ready to live up to when he hit the stage.
No stranger to the St. Louis entertainment scene, TreG has contributed as an actor, director, singer and producer in the past couple of years. And it was clear that he used all his respective hats while developing and executing Saturday’s show.
He gave the crowd a full-scale production in that 400-seat theater – background dancers, audio footage, a set, live band – all of it – as he performed mostly original music from his two projects “I’m Back” and “As I Am.”
He came out in sync with his dancers and performed alongside them for several of the upbeat tracks of the R&B and pop inspired tunes. The setlist only included a couple of covers – Prince’s “Beautiful Ones” and Usher’s “Caught Up” were among them.
Everything was top notch and rehearsed to perfection -especially the well-synced dance crew that went from twerks of hip-hop to the twirls of modern contemporary movement. The harmonies of the background were on point – as was the accompaniment from the band that at one point featured TreG on keys.
The crowd bopped along to the beat a few friends and family sang along word for word – particularly for “Porch Song” where he shouted out the whole address – street and number – of his old stomping grounds before declaring that there is “no place like home” as he paid homage to his city through the lyrics.
TreG didn’t take his hometown audience for granted – by expecting them to be forgiving or having lowered expectations because he is a local artist doing a local show. Quite the opposite. The show was orchestrated to the letter by someone mindful of what is usually delivered by national acts when they come to town for a concert.
He put in work for them as a token of his appreciation for their continued support – which was clear from the opening until the very end.
For more information on TreG, visit https://tregmusic.com/.