|Sarah's YouTube channel link here...|
All attempts at predicting Mother Nature aside, things kicked off shortly after scheduled with local R&B artist Rodne' Jay taking the main stage for the nights opener.
First impression I couldn't help but make the connection to well known R&B artist Ray J. Thinking more into that connection gave a "perfect fit" scenario considering Monica's successful past and recent work with Ray J's extremely popular R&B - award winning sister Brandy.
That in mind, don't think for a second that Rodne' Jay is a copycat artist or just trying to sound like what has worked in the past.
Songs like Lullaby blend vocal dynamics with charismatic sound delivered in a smooth transition to the lady it's intended for at the moment.
A pop and soul changeup is found with Rodne's track PBA - PRETTY BOY ANTHEM which lays down a self aware freshness from head to toe in an unapologetic style. Only certain male artists can pull off this overly confident performance and Rodne' owned it for the night.
Next brought out my favorite set/performance of the night with Sarah Sellers and her band. Led by local writer/producer and great guitarist Josh Goode, Sarah's band brought the level of tight blues rock that normally takes months upon months of rehearsals to gain.
At center stage the Season 10 American Idol contestant gave the HOB crowd a high energy performance meshed with a flowing Stevie Nicks-esque whimsical style that felt original at the same time. Her personal connection and mini conversations between songs only added to the energy the crowd was offering back to Sarah.
A great mix of cover songs meshed with original writing, from Sarah's forthcoming EP, created a well crafted blend of Blues, Rock, R&B and Soul for her full band set.
Long Walk | My Ritual | No Mistake where the first three songs Sarah delivered followed by six more that rounded out her nine song performance that answered any questions about her level of talent away from Idol and just how serious she delivers as an artist.
Headliner and feature artist of the night was none other than three time nominated and Grammy Award Winning R&B artist Monica.
Live drums, insane three part harmony vocals and chest pounding low end bass groove blanketed the now packed house built on blues.
Angel of Mine and Everything To Me were only two of the many hits Monica delivered on the night. A surprise performance piece that only a select few probably knew about ahead of time was still to come...
In tribute to her musical idol since childhood, Monica gave Dallas a medley of Pop/R&B greatness by performing some of Whitney Houston's biggest hits.
You Give Good Love - suggested as a song to cover once to 15 year old Monica by Whitney years ago, Dance With Somebody - featuring the type of glissandos and vocal coverage only a true Whitney lover could offer.
I Have Nothing - capped this tribute as the jewel of the night performance for Monica ingrained with a strong raw emotion you could see and hear on stage from her.
One could only imagine what she felt thoughout her performance in honor to a close friend and mentor.
A great night filled with three great performances! Thanks to Carlos with Asential Events for having us out and to the House of Blues for allowing the coverage.