Can you believe that there is only one more Saturday separating us from the St. Louis American Foundation’s 31st Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship and Awards Gala? Of course you can because I keep reminding you. You should be glad that I care enough to hip you to the hottest black tie affair in town. It’s going down Saturday, September 29 at America’s Center and everybody who is anybody will be in that building – and dressed to the nines, tens, elevens and twelves. I’m just sayin’. I can’t wait to see what the folks have lined up as far as the fashion. And there will be a whole lot of fun to be had thanks to the after-party and the cabaret starring the incomparable Denise Thimes. I’m hoping she sprinkles in a bit of an Aretha Franklin tribute of sorts that includes (but is not limited to) “Dr. Feelgood,” “Never Loved A Man” “Baby I Love You” and a bonus track of “Giving Him Something He Can Feel.” This is just a wish list – and I know she plans and rehearses her sets well in advance. But a few snippets or a medley for the queen of soul would be quite the treat. No pressure. DJ Kut is going to kill it on the tables as well. And since I’m low-key curating performances, I might as well let him know that an old school spin session that resembles a family cookout playlist would be sincerely appreciated. Y’all, I cannot wait for Salute 2018 to commence! It’s going to be epic. Get your tickets at stlamerican.com or by calling (314) 533-8000. Hurry up though, because it sells out every year and 31 will be no different.
A rousing applause for RBRM. More people than they should have stayed home from catching the new group formed by members of New Edition. Well let me tell those who couldn’t get over a little thing like Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill being M.I.A. that y’all missed a real treat. Okay, I’ll be honest and say I quietly expected a low-key train wreck, based on the last time I saw Bobby Brown on stage, but he proved me and the rest of the haters wrong when he got it all the way in Sunday night at Chaifetz. I wish I could say the same for those opening acts. Don’t get it twisted, Kut got it all the way in and DJ Kid Capri knocked that thing out the park. However, Trez Falsetto and Case could have kept their little opening offerings. Mr. Falsetto pointed out that he braved the hurricane to come to St. Louis more than once. Don’t do nobody else that kind of favor if that’s all you are bringing to the stage. I know it was mean, but it had to be said. But at least Trez Falsetto (yes, that is his real stage name) is new. Case was an OG mess. The folks were not feeling it – and not shy about making sure Case knew it, especially during that tattered piece of “Faded Pictures.” If Capri wasn’t the legend that he is, I don’t think the crowd would have recovered enough to properly receive RBRM. They put their ankle into that show. Of course, folks wanted to hear more New Edition. But that wasn’t the point of this show. Regardless of what it was that kept them from a full roster for the their 40th New Edition reunion, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike proved that they have enough of their own stuff to carry a pretty good doggone show – and the stamina to carry on as they did in their Bobby Brown and BBD prime. Not to take away from BBD, but they are consistent. Bobbaye deserves a special nod for getting right tight and stepping to the plate with a performance that everybody was satisfied with. I’d see that show again in a heartbeat.
Rickey Smiley’s ridiculously funny roster. Speaking of Rickey, I was over the moon when I heard that Rickey Smiley would replace Jess allegedly Hilarious when she bowed out of her weekend run at Helium, probably so she could attend the Emmys and work on her new sitcom with Lil Rel. I’m not hating, her stage show could use some finishing. But this is about Rickey, so let me get to it. I was disappointed upon learning that in lieu of a set, he was bringing a crew of comics that he would host. That was until I saw them. They were hilarious. Especially that Prescott. When he said that his mama wore her wig so long that her real hair sprouted and started growing into the wig. I was DOA. Not much else of it is safe for Partyline, just know that he, Marvin Hunter and St. Louis’ own Darius Bradford brought the house down right along with him. Rickey did too with his bite-size segments. Especially when he said he was inspired by Aretha Franklin and plans to have a similarly produced “fune” that will one up the Queen of Soul by being a roadshow service. He said that his traveling funeral will make a stop in STL, because of all the years we have supported him.
Luxury with a taste of Melanie Fiona. The Moto Museum was packed to the gills with the most beautiful crowd of stylish ladies that I’ve seen in a minute Friday night for A Taste of Luxury, presented by Remy Martin. The fellas were fly too, but the ladies outnumbered them three to one – and there was such a variety in the swag they were serving. From around the-way club gear to lightweight cocktail/after 5 attire. I have a couple of serious questions based on Friday. First, does Lisa West ever get it wrong? Second, how is it that former Rams player Derek Stanley manages to get finer every time I see him? Okay now, on with the taste. The vibe was everything – and capped off with performances by some rising St. Louis based stars and a main event medley by Melanie Fiona. I just love her. Her voice is good, but her energy is great. She’s so lovely with fans. Tish Haynes Keys and Lydia Caesar (serving a punk rock version of Mary J. Blige’s blonde mushroom realness) were great show openers as well. The whole thing was super cute. It must have gotten out that all the stylish people were going to be there, because some of my favorite tastemakers – some of whom I thought had bowed out of the scene– rolled through to catch Remy Martin’s taste.
Moneybagg Yo’s trial sized show. Shout out to the Liquid Assets and RockHouse Ent. for selling out The Pageant with their tag team presentation of trap star Money Bagg Yo Saturday night. I know the folks are still fit to be tied that Moneybagg came out at the 11th hour (literally) and hopped around stage for 12 minutes, but Phil and Orlando did everything they could to give the folks the best show possible. If y’all saw how they were angling backstage to keep things moving, you would have a new appreciation for the life of a legitimate promoter.