Concerts often are fleeting experiences. You remember if they were good, if the artist sang your favorite song, if the fans were into it. India.Arie’s show Wednesday night at Amos’ Southend was more personal, like her music.
Singing old hits such as “Video” and “I Am Not My Hair” as well as new ones such as “Ghetto,” Arie turned her show into a transformative experience, expanding how we see love, loss and healing.
One of the most memorable moments came when she performed “The Truth.” Arie felt the energy of the crowd and lingered with the song, repeating verses and refrains. She held the mike over the audience so fans could sing along, too. Two women stood in front of the stage, signing to each other. Arie noticed the couple, who apparently were deaf, and signed along with them. The moment transformed the song from an ode to loving a man into a song about universal love.
She performed for more than an hour and seemed to plug her new album, “Testimony: Vol. 2: Love & Politics,” every other song. She was the consummate hostess. At one point during the show, she walked through the sold-out crowd singing and letting fans see her up close. On stage, she reached out, squeezed their hands.
Pacing the stage like a maestro, she moved through the variations of love from universal love (her remake of Sade’s “Pearls”) to self-love (“Get It Together”) to spiritual love (“God Is Real).” For that one, she stripped it down to her guitarist and two background singers.
Arie gave each singer a solo moment. They soared, singing about God’s meaning in their lives. The audience tossed in plenty of “Amens” and “Praise Gods.”
Together, Arie and her fans brought church to Amos’.
In the photo below, India.Arie does a radio interview before her Wednesday night concert at Amos’ Southend. (Photo: Qcitymetro.com)