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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black Plastic Bag: Washington City Paper's Music Blog

Photos: Anthony Hamilton and Musiq @ Constitution Hall

Anthony Hamilton is a trooper. While many performers have canceled performances because of illness or fatigue, Hamilton hobbled on one leg for the majority of his soulful 45-minute set played to a sold-out crowd at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on Friday evening.

The R&B singer injured his left knee recently, but barely took advantage of the cane or crutches his stagehands implored him to use. Instead, he favored his right leg, danced as gracefully as a one-legged person could, and even got a dozen or so females to join in on stage for a rendition of “Sista Big Bones” set to the theme from TV’s “Fat Albert”. The North Carolina native made the song his own by ad-libbing and asking a few of the plus-sized ladies in attendance to join him on stage. Hamilton showed them his appreciation by coyly singing “Sista thickness/Get down wit the quickness/Hope you won’t forget this/Put me on ya gift list.”

After all of that hopping around, Hamilton, nattily dressed in a gray suit, sat down and busted out the love ballads “Her Heart” and “Prayin’ for You.” He then rose to his feet (or rather, his foot) to close the set with “Charlene,” a slow jam about heartbreak, and the uplifting “Cool.”

Headliner Musiq stuck to the fun, groovy tracks that have made him a star. He was backed by an all-female five piece band—which included scene-stealing drummer J Latoiya—and two female dancers. The deviation from the predominately male backup bands that dominate R&B provided the sort of funky ’70s feel that Musiq favors.

Musiq’s set was loaded with feel-good tracks like “Whoknows” and “Girlnextdoor,” and ended with his song about friendship leading to romance, “B.U.D.D.Y. Its chorus showed the singers playfulness: “I can’t lie/It would be fly/If you were my B-U-D-D-Y/Don’t be shy/Give it a try/I could be yours if you could be mine.”

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