Happy Salute 32 eve! I am sitting here in foam rollers as we speak with cucumbers on both eyes in full prep mode for Saturday’s festivities at America’s Center. If I can get the swelling down from crying like a fool upon getting the tragic news about Victor Newman, I will be the baddest belle of the ball. Oh, so I’m the only one that was real-life shook? Yeah, right. Anyway, back to Salute. In 48 hours it will be going all the way down at America’s Center and I can’t wait … especially after seeing the Coleman Hughes Project featuring Adrianne tear it all the way up at Twilight Tuesdays night before last. They will be making their Jazz Cabaret debut at Salute 32 and it’s going to be life more abundantly. And you already know DJ Sir Thurl is going to tear the tables up in the Old School Party. If you don’t have tickets, be sure to hit up stlamerican.com or call (314) 533-8000. You do not want to be reading the recap and be like, “I should have been there.”
Love Jones at Twilight. Since I’m talking Twilight Tuesday, I might as well give props to one of my favorite bands in the land for their stellar Twilight Tuesday debut last week. The weather refused to let Love Jones be great last Twilight Tuesday season. Because of deadline logistics, I couldn’t squeeze them in last week, but they had to know that nothing but death would keep me from shouting them out for a job well done. Guest vocalist Gypsy got in and the fellas of Love Jones let the folks get familiar with the fact that they can play music for any generation thanks to a set list that included everybody from Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and the Whispers to Musiq Soulchild. My only issue was to me it felt like the sound was a lot more muted than it usually is for Twilight Tuesday. Any other time, I can hear the band blasting as soon as I hit that left from Union on to Lindell. But for one of my faves it sounded like they were singing “Olivia the slave…” at almost whisper decibels from where I was sitting. It still sounded good, just kind of soft.
Lisa West’s birthday luxury. Listen, we came through and packed that ballroom of Hotel St. Louis to the gills for Remy Martin’s A Taste of Luxury with Kelly Price – which also doubled as my girl Lisa West’s birthday bash Saturday night. Her birthday VIP area had me so jealous with its bedazzled blue bling. And the complimentary Remy cocktails must have been really flowing – or extra strong – because I haven’t seen so many classy tipsy folks in the same place at the same time in years as I did for this set. It was still super cute though and I had a ball. Dacota warmed up the stage for Kelly and his band was absolutely sickening. If he would get a few voice lessons and a sip of swag, he could join Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke on the blue-eyed soul scene. Kelly Price gave me life more abundantly with her mini-concert and Lisa was still on her feet, but I would have fallen out if she serenated me on my b-day. Her voice was everything as more – and I was thrilled that she did “You Should’ve Told Me” and “It’s Gonna Rain.” I just hate that she performed to tracks.
A bigger and better Black Taste. I know it probably seems like I’m full of happy feelings, but I’m going to keep the shout outs coming and pat my bangs in honor of Aisha James and her team of folks for the triumphant second year of the Taste of Black St. Louis on Saturday in Tower Grove Park. I’m going to have to take short breaths like the gangster from “Harlem Nights” the in my Salute Spanx, because the whole afternoon was a diet-ruiner. But it was totally worth it for the food, fellowship and fun. Okay, mostly the food. If I have to pick my favorite from the series of cheat meals I crammed in, I think I will go with the Caribbean delights of Chez Mathy. I wanted to try that Donna’s station, but the line was too long. I can’t wait to see what happens at year three.
Taste of St. Louis returns to the city. Since I’m already talking about tasting, I might as well congratulate the event formerly known as “The Taste of St. Louis at Chesterfield” for coming back to the city. My schedule was so jam-packed that I only caught the last sip of the taste on Sunday afternoon and don’t think it’s fair to judge it by what I saw as folks were all but breaking down and calling it a weekend. But I heard nothing but good things about its homecoming, so I will take everyone’s word for it.
Lil Wayne where art thou? This is old news at this point, but I feel like y’all might wanna discuss Weezy F. Baby saying “bye bye” to St. Louis before he and Blink 182 had a chance to do a soundcheck. Folks had been doubting whether Lil Wayne would attend. I was one of them, until I got word that he was actually here. I honestly thought he was going to do a bizarre show and ruin his live performance reputation with me, based on what I had been reading about him on this particular tour. And If I’m being honest, I would have been more let down by a half-show than a no show. Was it unprofessional of him to dip clean out of town a few hours before he was set to hit the stage Saturday at Hollywood Casino? Absolutely. Is Lil Wayne a mess as of late? Sure. But isn’t it better to get a refund and better than suffering through some mailed-in show and have to live with wasted money? I’m gonna go ahead and say yes.
Just alright JB Smoove. Because of Lil Wayne’s “no call, no show” I was able to catch JB Smoove’s Lollygagging Tour when it played the Pageant. The show was a makeup date from him postponing and I wish it could have been as funny as the hilarious line he used to let the folks know how he jacked up his ankle in the description of the show on the Pageant’s web site. I mean it was cool, but I’m used to falling out and flopping at a J.B. Smoove show and it just wasn’t that for me. Perhaps because he recycled too many bits from his Helium visit. Like the delicious cuisine it inspired, his “Sweet brown bread that they put on the table at Cheesecake Factory” goes stale pretty quickly. I did get a kee-kee or two, but not like I anticipated.