Eric Benét has been to London a fair few times since his first visit in 1997. The start of the gig with the recorded intro seems quite abrupt but the audience are clearly pleased to see Eric Benét back again in London. His first song is “Love Don’t Love Me” and it is clearly a crowd pleaser from the applause. Eric takes some time to talk to the audience and introduce his songs and it is not too long before he takes some time outlining what led to him writing my favourite song “When You Think Of Me”. The song is given an extended outing with solos from John Rich on keyboards and guitar.
He follows this with a song for the sisters in the house “Chocolate Legs” acknowledging that there are many types of chocolate. This strikes the right chord with the crowd and after discarding his jacket and obliging the request from a girl in the audience to take off his shades, he is ready to give us his wedding song “Spend My Life With You,” enlisting the more than ample vocals of his backing singer Leah Labelle and this is another crowd pleaser.
Eric then takes us back to the beginning of his solo recording career with an energetic performance of “Spiritual Thing” (from the 1996 album “True To Myself”); the next song is both the standout of the gig and “Lost In Time,” his latest album: “Sometimes I Cry” confirms for me what an exceptionally talented vocalist and performer he really is. He feels his way through this song and on the way grabs the heartstrings and you are moved. His falsetto is perfectly pitched and delivered and I find it hard to think of a male vocalist that can match him. This was amazing!
Mr. Benét clearly has the vocals and he also covers the stage with slick, natural moves and rhythm as well, particularly on “Weekend Girl” and “Why You Follow Me” and “Georgy Porgy” which are encores for the evening along with a segue into Billie Jean. This was my first Eric Benét gig and it was truly a privilege to see an artist so well seasoned.
About the Writer
Terry Joe is a London-based has led bands as a vocalist, releasing cds and regularly performing. His favourite artists include Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Al Green, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Ledisi, Nathan Haines, Me'shell NdegeOcello and many more.