Experience of R&B Reminds City of Old School R&B Sounds Before Music Fest Season

Old school Rhythm and Blues has the power to make you fall in love and give you strength to walk away when enough is enough. As concertgoers filed into Kodak’s Theater on the Ridge Friday night for “The Experience of R&B Soulful Night,” they were definitely rewarded with a backyard BBQ “Girl-you-know-I-love-you” vibe.

The “Experience of R&B Soulful Night” featured 90s R&B greats Dave Hollister, Lyfe Jennings, Rude Boys and Mr. Glenn Jones.
Rude Boys took the stage as opening act and although a little they did not disappoint and sang “I Miss You So Much,” honoring founding band member Larry “Bingo” marcus who passed away last October.

There was no ignoring the energy Lyfe Jennings brought to the stage, said concertgoers Lisa Divine and Shanon Brooks. Jennings commanded the stage as fans snapped their fingers and swayed back and forth bellowing the lyrics to must be nice.

“You have to find someone on your level if you can’t be in a monogamous relationship then you have to find someone who also doesn’t value monogamy. Life is short make sure you get someone who loves you for you,” Jennings told the crowd.

“The whole concept was to bring my community together,” explained Sharon Davis, Executive Director of Shae-Nette Productions and Co-Promoter for the concert in an interview last week.

The R&B concert encouraged Rochesterians to get all dressed up and have a great night out with the one they love. Credit: Michele Ashlee.

The R&B concert encouraged Rochesterians to get all dressed up and have a great night out with the one they love. Credit: Michele Ashlee.

“I want it to bring us into the Spring, and have smooth sailing into the Summer with bigger shows. It’s foreplay for the summer jazz festivals,” she added, laughing.  “It’s been a long winter. Our winters are long, the days are gray and there’s no sunshine. It causes people to be indoors and you’re just watching TV. Couples can get out on date night with this concert though. You can get out, dress up and feel good about yourself. When you dress for an occasion, you just feel good.”

With today’s music there seems to be a stark contrast between new age R&B and old school R&B. Music is supposed to tell a story and tonight Dave Hollister and Lyfe Jennings were storytellers. There was no confusion in the message they were conveying, their audience were mostly people over 35 and people left inspired and hopeful. I looked around the room and couples were holding hands and kissing and dancing like I haven’t seen in a while and that is what R&B does for people it reminds us that relationships aren’t perfect and all people are flawed.

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