Go Blues!!!!! In the words of rap god Eli Porter (you have to be a truly messy throwback internet content connoisseur to get this name reference) “We da best! We did it!” The St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup and St. Louis is rightfully over the moon. Now there are all types of folks who seem bothered by all of the bandwagon Blues fans. I have to regress to my 8-year-old self to truly express the “unbotheredness” I feel for those who take issue with me having purchased my first piece of St. Louis Blues paraphernalia as of 11 a.m. Thursday, June 13, 2019. To them I say, “And … so ... I don’t give a care.” Let me amend that to add a “Go Blues!” to make sure the haters stay mad. But seriously, I fell in love with my city all over again because of the Blues solidarity as our hockey team made its historic run to Stanley Cup victory – and from dead last place! I was so excited that I made my way down to that epic parade. There weren’t a lot of us, but I still was made to feel right at home. Shout out to Charles Glenn and his group for singing that parade stage down! He went out with an unbelievable bang for his final season as the resident national anthem singer, didn’t he! Can anyone confirm a Baptist, AME or COGIC church sermon framed around the Blues this past Sunday? And in honor of the Blues, I feel like Da Shop Boyz should do a remake of their club hit “Party Like a Rock Star” and rename it “Party Like Brett Hull.” No shade. Just facts.
A Marvelous Ms. Mills the Mighty O’Jays. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw Stephanie Mills on stage, so nothing but death could have kept me from the Fox Saturday to catch her featured performance, along with the O’Jays for their annual visit. It was with this in mind that I beg Mike McMillan and his wonderful team at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to forgive me for dipping out of their illustrious Salute to Women in Leadership Saturday evening. Backed by a live band that came to slay, she served up everything I expected and more from the minute she body rolled her way through “Never Knew Love Like This” until she took us back to her beginnings with “Home.” Listen, when she told the crowd that she was 62, I all but fainted, because of how good she looked, sounded and moved. I was like, “I haven’t seen her since 1997, because she never left that year – and built a time machine to come to 2019 just for this show.” The only thing that didn’t give me life from the time she got on stage until she left were those kitten heel “Belenci-nada” ankle booties and that flared jersey dress. What? Show me the lie! She was phenomenal otherwise. I was low-key expecting to yawn my way through the O’Jays – especially after they kept us waiting all that time to get the sound right and tight. But Walter Williams and Eddie LeVert gave me a second wind with how they were cutting up like they haven’t been doing their thing on stages across the world since before some of y’all’s grandmothers were born. Eddie LeVert celebrated his 77th birthday with St. Louis – and got so mannish when talking about the biological challenges he’s experienced as a man of a certain age that I couldn’t help but cackle. He might not be able to do certain things anymore, but he can put on a show in a hot, fire red suit and matching Stacy Adams like a young spry whipper snapper.
Another spectacular salute to women leaders by the Urban League. Now y’all already know from my recap of the O’Jays and Stephanie Mills that I didn’t stay the whole time, but I came through and had such a ball that I had to force myself to leave. Seriously, I got to the Fox just as Stephanie was getting ready to make her first twirl. Mike McMillan and his annual Salute to Women in Leadership continues to outdo itself as far as style and grace. And can we talk once again – I know I do it every year, but it warrants repeating – about the gift spread that the honorees are blessed with? I promise if I ever get a nod, I will pull a Jenifer Lewis and go right to my station to open up mine on site! I love her to the bottom of my soul! There were so many other honorees – past and present, that I want to shout out, but I would need another full page of Partyline just so I don’t miss anyone. Just know that all of the honorees were worthy, the folks came with the classy cocktail and formalwear and it was a wonderful night of fellowship that celebrate the lady bosses in this region and beyond.
Brunching with the Links. Now y’all may or may not care about what is happening on the social scene, but the lovely ladies of the Links’ Archway Chapter had the absolute cutest brunch on Father’s Day, which celebrated the gifted minds behind Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ latest world premiere “Fire Shut Up In My Bones.” Grammy winner Terence Blanchard, acclaimed filmmaker Kasi Lemmons and author/columnist Charles Blow were in the Centene building in Grand Center for the meal and brief panel discussion, moderated by Lamar Harris. Brunch organizers Naretha Hopson and Kay Gage gave all those who attended an opportunity to get up close and personal with Kasi, Terence and Charles – who were so down to earth and chill to the point where everyone felt like old friends. And can I say that Archway Links VP Lauren Nash Ming was giving me every bit of my life in her black and white ensemble!
R&B under the roof. The latest edition of HeyLuv was billed as “R&B Under The Stars” but St. Louis’ unpredictable weather said, “LIES!” They didn’t have far to relocate though. Instead of the patio action of the Bronson House, the regulars and fresh faces had to scoot next door to Barnett’s on Washington to partake in the festivities. Was I the only one without enough common sense to automatically check Barnett’s upon seeing an empty boots Bronson House? Based on how packed it was – and the fact that that’s where they were held all winter – I’m going to say yes. As usual, that vibe was electric and the party didn’t stop until the lights came up! DJ Reminisce was going so hard on the tables that I made a mental note of his playlist and jacked five of the songs for my car ride home.