Philadelphia, PA-Feverish excitement suffused the air at the Dell Center Thursday night. Music lovers far and wide were in ecstatic formation, ready to get their party on at the sold-out celebration of the it’s final showcase for the Essence of Entertainment Summer Series.
Philly’s own DJ Gary O kept the massive crowd jamming, spinning his skills on the one’s and two’s with fire mixes of old school and today’s R&B spreading euphoric vibes throughout the amphitheater.
Performer/Violinist Owen Valentine kicked off the extravaganza swaying his acoustic notes unison with his lively band showcasing his unique flare. Soon after, recording artist Carol Riddick took to the stage crooning her jazzilistic tunes to the sea of admirers smoothing out her curvaceous flow.
Following were Platinum R&B group Brownstone hitting the limelight boss lady style flossing an all-woman ensemble rocking to thundering track “Let’s Get It Started” off their sophomore album “Still Climbing” having fans bouncing in their seats.
Keeping the sensation flowing, the ladies brought down the house with smash classic “Grapevine” driving the crowd to an all out sing along before veering to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s “Daydreaming” and Empress of Soul Gladys Knight’s “If I Was Your Woman” in supreme-like design.
Before taking a breather, the vivacious trio extended admiration to fellow sister artist Kelly Price who initially was scheduled to perform the star studded event, leaving their outstanding band to pay tribute to several of her hit singles.
The brick house trinity rejoined the festivities with original lead singer Nicci Gilbert Daniels engaging fans on the group’s personal journey signing with legend Michael Jackson, the demise of original member “Maxee” Maxwell and, the bond of current members Teisha J. Lott and Arin Jackson thanking supporters thence resuming lyrical flavor to hits “Kiss And Tell” “I Can’t Tell You Why” “5 Miles To Empty” and closing with platinum all-time classic “If You Love Me” setting the center ablaze.
Finally, it was time for none other than the impeccable sounds of The Isley Brothers to hit center stage Mr. Biggs style opening to “Make Me Say It Again” causing the entire venue to explode in a roaring frenzy.
Taming the hysteria, they performed backyard party theme “Friends and Family” and ageless classic “Who’s That Lady” showing off their fabulous orchestra and sensational dancers finessing their timeless swagger.
The jam session was filled with non-stop power hits of sensual, romantic and gritty funk, one couldn’t help but indulge to its infectious grooves. “Between The Sheets” “Footsteps” and “Nothing But Smooth Sailing Tonight” kept concertgoers flaunting their two-step game in every aisle.
Resting from a brief interlude, the dynamic duo hit the refresh button and resumed the set reminiscing on their sixty-two year iconic musical voyage performing in the days of the great Sam Cooke with a short rendition of “Wonderful World” and Queen of Rock n’ Roll Tina Turner’s “Rollin” for the seasoned listeners.
In pristine suave signature Ron Isley switched on the red-light special to sexy ballad “Don’t Say Goodnight” enticing lovers to reach for that gentle caress then turning up the tempo on timeless tunes “It’s Your Thang” and “Twist And Shout” placing their dancers on queue to shake their tail feathers.
After eloquently serenading “For The Love Of You” Ernie Isley laced two magnificent solos on “Voyage To Atlantis” and “Summer Breeze” leaving adorers in complete awe later ending in a show stopping spectacle with “Fight The Power” “Shout” and Godfather of Soul James Brown’s “Funky Good Time” proving the saying like fine wine, it gets better with time.