Ladies night to the next level. If you had told me that turn of the millennium two-or-three-hit wonder Sammie would have a bigger crowd when he hit the Pageant Sunday night than Marsha Ambrosius and a show that featured three ‘90s favorites put together, I would have given you the side eye Gayle King was serving up to R. Kelly during that “CBS This Morning” train wreck. But trust me, he pulled a whole crowd – and it was 99.9 percent female. I’ve seen more men in an OBGYN waiting to get a well woman exam than at the Sammie show. The show was fantastic – and not just because of the headliner. The local talent got it in as the opening acts. It made me proud and eager to see an STL R&B Renaissance thanks to Mookie Toliver, G The Singer, Jones Boy and Josh Royal. And Jones Boy needs to change his name to Jones Body, honey. If I were Sammie, I never would’ve taken my shirt off after Mr. Jones graced the stage with that Bowflex max trainer shape. Sammie looked like he had been living in a cave or in the woods with all of that hair on his face and head. But I got over him looking like a black Tom Cruise from “Castaway” quickly, mainly because he sounded so good. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I didn’t not know that Sammie had it like that as far as folks knowing all of his songs and having diehard fans.
Back to back Marsha Ambrosius. The soulful British yodels of Marsha Ambrosius made their way back to the Lou last weekend with her headlining performance at The Pageant. It seems like only yesterday she was warming the stage up for Maxwell at Stifel and scooting over to BB’s for a cute little impromptu set with Love Jones The Band. She pulled a cute-sized crowd considering she was just here. And did her best to present an entirely different vibe as far as her set. I appreciated it. My seat neighbors – who used their outside voices to complain about how much they liked her show at Stifel – not so much. Part of me felt like when she was cueing the sound man to give her some more volume in the monitors, it was because she could hear them all the way on stage. And we were sitting in the back. Internet sensation turned rising R&B star Kevin Ross deserves an opening act MVP for how he had the crowd’s attention with his adorable charm and amazing voice. Y’all know the audience of a certain age will be the most unbothered you’ve ever seen when they feel like the artist is too young. But he had their undivided attention – especially when he hopped down from the stage and sang while standing on top of the seats.
‘90s nostalgia at its finest. I still don’t know if there was an official title for the show that featured Adina Howard, Jon B and Ginuwine at The Ambassador Saturday night. Even if it was untitled, I was shocked by how well each of the acts did – and how much I enjoyed myself. I can’t say that I got my life from her purple people eater hair game, but Adina looked amazing. Actually, I don’t know what color that afro was, because it kept changing with the stage lights. Other than that, she looked phenomenal. She was one fondle away from catching a #MeeToo case when she called that man on stage to rub up against him. It was decent set for a show opener. She did her little trio of songs and kept it moving, honey. Jon B decided he was going to give the show of his life. And he did. I hate to throw shade considering that he put an incredible show, but has anybody else noticed that he has worn that striped shirt and those blue dockers at least three of his recent visits to STL? Okay, now I can move forward with nothing but good news … I hope. Jon B came through with that blue-eyed soul. He did all of his jams – and had the nerve to sprinkle in some Maxwell and Earth, Wind and Fire too. His performance was almost as good as watching how y’all’s aunties trying to be warm and sexy at the same time. Shout out to the woman in the yellow sequined freakum dress with the black turtleneck and long johns underneath. Okay, back to the show. Ginuwine has been hit or miss – okay, mostly miss – his last few visits to St. Louis, but Saturday night he came to slay. And he looks amazing as a member of the beard gang. I’ve made peace with the fact that he’s gonna have that baby hair until he’s perched in somebody’s casket. Besides his late start, I have no shade to give his show.
Mardi Gras at The Architect House. Because Ginuwine took his silky-headed time getting to the stage, I almost missed Anthony Robinson’s Mardi Gras extravaganza at The Architect House Saturday night. It was 1 a.m. when I pulled up, and I started to not even bother going in. I am so glad I trusted my instinct and scooted on up in there. I have never seen folks give a second-wind get-down like that in my whole life. I guess I should have expected it with Enoch is Real blazing the tables. Listen, there was a Soul Train Line, a Salsa break and a hip-hop get-down all in the span of 30 minutes. The folks were getting their whole life from it – as was I!
Jokin’ with Jay Pharoah. My Sunday night started off with a bit of comic relief from SNL alum Jay Pharoah, who had a weekend engagement at Helium. Shout out to Helium boss lady Sharonda for the hospitality. And even though I didn’t cackle nearly as much as I thought I would, I have to tip my stallion ponytail to Pharaoh for showing love to Michael Brown – even after the heavily general population made it clear that didn’t find his political humor about police violence against black people the least bit funny. They were so mad that when he asked one man to sing Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” later on in the act, he pretended not to know it. I was like, “Come on now, I know you know this song.” Before hip-hop became mainstream, “End of the Road,” “Baby Got Back” and “This Is How We Do it” were the three go-to black-people songs that everybody used as proof they were hip. Oh, and Jay’s Mike Epps and Denzel Washington impressions were spot on!
A Happy big 5-0 for Diner’s Delight. Folks were lined up all the way down to Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist church to partake in those $5 plates in commemoration of Diner’s Delight’s 50th anniversary. Perhaps they need to start selling them at the polls to get the folks out for the next election, but I will leave that type of talk for Political EYE. Anyway, it was “pure d” pandemonium as folks tried to catch the deal of a lifetime while celebrating a St. Louis soul food staple. I took one look at that line and pivoted right back to my ride. I figured it was God’s way of keeping me on my diet.
In and out the Marquee with Money Bagg Yo. Since we’re on the subject of artists who stay up in our city, let’s talk a bit about that Money Bagg Yo. I’ve seen him five times this year, and we haven’t made it a full three months in. He’s such a regular that I decided to pass on checking him out at Pop’s and just get at him for the after-party Friday night at the Marquee. If I had known then what I know now, I would have hit the highway on to the house. I get up in there about 1:15 a.m. (which is actually early for Money Bagg Yo) on the tail end of a commotion. Come to find out Money Bagg Yo’s entourage got into with each other in his boot and they hit it after only a few minutes of showing his face. One of my favorite security guards, who shall remain nameless, said he felt like Money pulled a Jussie Smollett and staged the whole scene because he didn’t feel like being perched in the club and was ready to hit those high-thread-count hotel sheets.