As temperatures began to drop in Birmingham, it was the ladies of The Good Morning Gorgeous Tour that brought the legendary vocal heat to a throng of sequined thigh-high booted, well-dressed women and equally fashionable gentlemen. The filled to capacity Legacy Arena hosted opening acts Queen Naija and Ella Mai alongside headliner Mary J. Blige. They did not miss!
Queen Naija began her 45 minute set that included crowd favorites, “Medicine”, “Lie to Me” and “Karma”. A simple set up with two talented dancers and large graphics on a digital display behind her left the crowd ready for more. After a short interlude, Ella Mai graced us with another short but sweet set and flawless vocals. While fully covered in a hot pink bodysuit and draped with matching full-length gloves, Ella Mais’ performance was reminiscent of a more discreet time. The crowd joined her in singing her hits, “Not Another Love Song”, “It Feels Like” and of course her major chart hits, “Boo’d Up” and “Trippin’”.
Then there was Mary J. Blige. She sets foot on stage with a dramatic show of pyrotechnics and a larger than life visual backdrop of flames. There could be no better entrance for this vocal heat than what Mary blessed us with for her two hour show. The ordained Queen of Hip Hop Soul enters with signature thigh high boots, fishnets and blonde mane bopping to her current top charter, “Amazing”.
“ Every day like my birthday, bring the cake in
Bring the cake in, bring the cake in
I feel good, I feel great, man, I feel amazing
Man I feel amazing, man, I feel amazing
Every day cеlebrate, not just on occasion…”
Mary takes us through her 20 plus years of hits, a wide range of outfit changes and varied vibes. From partying to heartbreak, we journey with Mary J. through an array of feelings and emotions. Sequined up in her next set, she rises up through a trapdoor with hair blowing and on a chaise lounger and croons out effortlessly, “Good Morning Gorgeous”. The crowd confidently knows every word to her classics, “Not Goin Cry”, “My Life”, and “Just Fine”. With additional outfit changes, laser lights and her signature dance moves, Mary J. Blige gives us flawless vocals and a better understanding of how at age 51, the Queen of Hip Hop remains steadfast in her reign.
Written and photographed by Marika N. Johnson