Sunday night at the 2022 Music at the Intersection, singer Lydia Caesar originally from Queens NY, now residing in St. Louis, MO., already has two albums out her latest EP, “Legendary Love”. in the Big Top of the city's Grand Arts Center neighborhood Su...

Sunday night at the 2022 Music at the Intersection, singer Lydia Caesar originally from Queens NY, now residing in St. Louis, MO., already has two albums out her latest EP, “Legendary Love”. in the Big Top of the city's Grand Arts Center neighborhood Sun. Sept. 11, 2022.

The streets of the Grand Center Arts District were alive with music, art, and good times in a celebration of St. Louis’ cultural richness Sept. 10-11.

Day one on the Washington Avenue stage began with a rough note, with technical difficulties, leading to shortened sets, and rescheduling.

Patrons of the R&B/soul group Rose Royce were forced to wait two hours for the delayed beginning of the show. As a band member listed the group’s greatest hits, he added he told the audience, that they would not be hearing some of them because their show length had been trimmed.

The challenges didn’t damper the crowd’s enthusiasm, which included all ages.

Rose Royce’s stroll down memory lane included “Ooh Boy” “Wishing On A Star” “I’m Going Down” “Car Wash” and more.

A band member reminded the audience Rose Royce performed the original versions of several songs that have been remade or sampled.

“There’s some bad rumors that’s been going on that I wanna clear up right now,” he said.

“You see, some of the young folks out there thought that Mary J. Blige did “I’m Going Down” first. Y’all gotta know that it's the OGs that did that song first. Some of the young folks out there think Beyonce did “Wishing on a Star” first. Y’all gotta let them know that it's the OGs that did that song first.”

Music lovers of all genres were served entrees from artists who appealed to their preferred musical taste. Mainstream multi-platinum-selling artists including Erykah Badu and Gary Clark Jr. attracted many to the festivities including concertgoer Kianna Hill.

“I’m most excited to see Erykah Badu perform, because I’ve mainly seen her live on YouTube videos,” said Hill, a 2011 Hazelwood East High School graduate. “Next Lifetime is one of my favorite songs by her.”

While national artists brought many people to Grand Center, some hometown giants and rising local artists also graced one of three stages.

“I can’t even tell you how many people’s songs and albums I’ve downloaded just from hearing their music for the first time,” said North County resident Miya Anderson. “There’s a lot of good energy here [at the festival] and seeing the city support each other does something to my spirit.”

The St. Louis American caught a glimpse of BJ The Chicago Kid’s set on Sept. 10. His performance on the Field stage was R&B excellence. He sang his songs “Love Inside,” “Turnin Me Up,” “Perfect,” and “Close,” while also covering D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel,” Usher’s “Nice & Slow.” He concluded his set with his chart-topping hit “Church.” Before exiting, he mentioned how losing close loved ones motivates him to go harder in his career.

“Every time I’m on this stage every song that I sing is for everybody who's never been afraid to be alone for five minutes to be understood forever,” BJ said.

St. Louis’ own NandoSTL, Reggie Son, The Urge (Steve’s Hot Dogs owner, Steve Ewing is the band’s frontman), Lamar Harris’ Georgia Mae, funk band Super Hero Killer, and Jazz St. Louis Creative Advisor and Ferguson Native Keyon Harrold also performed on the Field Stage.

Harrold performed alongside Alex Isley, singer and daughter of Ernie Isley, hip-hop producer Black Milk, hip-hop drummer Chris “Daddy” Dave, and more. Harrold’s set unfortunately didn’t get to finish due to lightning and a rain delay.

Kyjuan, Murphy Lee, Ali, and Slo Down of St. Lunatics also joined the Wash Ave stage for a medley of group hits, Lee’s solo hits, and his freestyles to other songs. It was a nostalgic, warm moment revisiting a lot of our early 2000s favorites from “Batter Up” to “Shake Ya Tailfeather” to “Air Force Ones.”

It took us back to those “Old St. Louis” days when those records played at The Palace Skating Rink, Saints Skating Rink, and the D.A.R.E. dances. Nelly and City Spud reuniting would have made the performance even more golden, but as we see that won’t be happening anytime soon since he and the other members, primarily Ali, are at odds with each other. 

Saint Boogie Brass Band also performed behind the Tics. They were originally supposed to be the openers for the Wash Ave Stage, but instead performed on the streets at Washington and Josephine Baker boulevards.

Seviin Li also performed on that stage tributing the iconic Tina Turner. The lady of the hour we all were waiting for Badu had a late start on her headlining set due to the rain and lightning. However, the wait was more than worth it.

She performed many hits from her 1997 Baduizm album, which she wrote while pregnant with her Seven Benjamin, who is now 24. The 90s babies held it down as the ones who were mostly represented in the crowd, she dedicated “Apple Tree” in honor of them. 

The sweetest memory of her performance was the mashup between her and Angela Winbush for “Next Lifetime” and “You Don’t Have to Cry.” St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and Congresswoman Cori Bush also presented Winbush with the Legends Award.

“I just had tears falling from my eyes because we are about to honor a musical icon, a musical legend, but not only that she belongs to us,” Bush said. “She’s from us. When they say St. Louis doesn't have any musical talent, we don’t have any artists, we’re a flyover city, no we’re not. We got folks like the amazing Angela Winbush.”

Badu gave fans the option to choose her final song, either “Didn’t Cha Know” or “Tyrone.” Majority voted in favor of Tyrone.

Hiatus Kaiyote and Foxing also graced the Wash Ave. Stage. The Big Top Stage included The Kasimu-Et, Jazz St. Louis tribute Celebrating Montez Coleman, Dylan Triplett, The Bosman Twins, The Henry Townsend Acoustic Blues Showcase, Peter Martin, and Kamasi Washington.

For day two, The American covered Lydia Caesar’s performance at The Big Top, who was originally scheduled to play Wash Ave earlier in the day.

Caesar tore the house down with a cover to Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me,” “St. Louis'' [a song dedicated to her husband who is from St. Louis], a cover to Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody,” and more.

Robert Glasper’s multi musicianship and producer skills coupled with Terrace Martin’s vocals and saxophone impressed jazz hip-hop enthusiasts with “No One Like You” “Black Superhero” and more on Wash Ave.

Glasper also mentioned his appreciation for many of the city’s beloved musicians.

“There’s a lot of dope cats in St. Louis,” Glasper said. “You got Shedrick Mitchell, Keyon Harrold, Marcus Baylor of The Baylor Project. I have a lot of ties to St. Louis.”

Other artists who performed on all stages were Buddy Guy, Booker T. Jones, and more. Gary Clark Jr. was the headlining performer on the Wash Ave Stage.

Music wasn’t the only element incorporated into the festival, there were also live street art activations, artist talks, and mural wall and high definition projection mapping/immersive video art.

Daleel Mayfield, owner of Natural Needs Products was one of the 40 vendors at the festival.

Mayfield, a native of Indianapolis who now lives in St. Louis relocated here to expand his business model. He sells East Nilotica Shea Butter, which he says soaks into the skin rather than sits on top of it. He also sells other natural products including bamboo charcoal and more.

Learn more about Mayfield’s business here: www.naturalneedsproducts.com.

Overall the festival was a success and vital for the city. With a few minor changes, and better luck with the weather, Music at the Intersection’s return on Sept. 9-10, 2023, should be another smash hit.

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