April 20th 2012
Type 'North Carolina Top Ten' into Google and you'll be presented with attractions like: Art museums, amusement parks and a Great Smokey Mountain National Park. 'Art', 'amusement' and 'smokey' are apt words to describe North Carolina’s son, Anthony Hamilton, and his performance at the Indig02 on Friday evening.
That customary, smoky voice kicked off with an all singing, all dancing intro, accompanied by eccentric and energetic backing dancers/singers/entertainers (boy they know how to do it in the States). Pandemonium ensued when the artist dropped classics like Cool and Coming From Where I’m From.
The sexy, Jairus Mozee-produced Best of Me provided one of the biggest cheers of the night, save classics, which were yet to come. Mr. Hamilton sang with equanimity and panache and this was one of the many times in the night when the men must have thought they came alone as their ladies' eyes were transfixed on the star. A sigh of resignation seemed to emanate from the fellas, knowing they had lost their women (albeit temporarily) to the Grammy Award winning star.
Not many artists have the audacity or skill to attempt a Prince song but Mr. Hamilton did the Purple Rain singer proud with his rendition of Adore, sung with sultry tones and a soulful honesty. Drinks were raised aloft and heads were tilted to the floor, shaking in appreciation.
Amuse he did when Anthony Hamilton's playful side came to the fore with his improvised melody about the Union Bar (located across from the Indigo), stating that he would be there after the show. Cue ladies glancing at the exit doors in an aid to escape as soon the singer's set finished. At this point, almost all feet were sliding; almost all arms were in the air save one character in the corner rubbing his hands with glee. The Union Bar manager, perhaps?
The singer praised North and South Carolina before delivering the poignant and soulful Pray For Me, which was followed by the Reggae-fuelled Everybody. The latter’s slow tempo had people sliding and couples edging closer. The R&B star joked: “they didn't get it in the States so I had to go to my second home", which went down well to the loving crowd.
The soul singer concluded (much to the audience’s disappointment) with classic hits including Who's loving you now and Charlene.
The audience was also treated to cameos from up-and-coming artists Nathan Devonte and Linah Nambooze who opened the show.