Thursday, May 9, 2013

Get Up! March BAM Show Recap

Photo by Jose Ivey

 I know it’s been over a month since the BAM show, but the wheels just keep on turning. Meaning, it can be challenging to find a spot in the day to write. Then before you know it a month has gone by. Of course I could have just posted some photos and let you all gaze upon them until I had time to write, but of course since I’m just sitting down to update you all, I just thought of that. SMH Well, that’s life, but I have to admit it’s pretty good.

The week of the BAM show was packed. I started off with a warm up show at RockbarNYC for Rick’s b’earthday. Rick is one of the owners of the bar and after seeing the band play there in November, he asked us to return for his 50th b’earthday extravaganza, Mamapalooza. The hairs in the büshe that night were Jeff, Matsu, Ganessa and I. Well, what I thought would be a good show, turned out to be a powerhouse show. Dare I say one of the best shows we’ve ever done. The four-piece was rockin’ for real and some kind of magic happened that night. I sang “Punanny Politixxx” during the set and got at least one republican to fall in love me. Now that’s pretty good considering the lyrical content. LOL!

The rest of the week was packed with rehearsals and outfit shopping and yoga classes. I was non-stop up to the day of the show. I think I got my hair cut Saturday morning and that was all I did that day besides perform. My haircut was the most chill time I had all week.

I decided to drop in a few new songs at the BAM show. One song was so new, that it wasn’t all the way finished, but I wanted to test the waters so to speak. The other songs weren’t totally new, but many people in the audience had never heard them before. Then of course there are those people who come to BAM every weekend because it’s free live music, who I know had never seen me before. So for them it was all new. You have to play for everyone and that’s what I do all the time. To me it doesn’t matter if you have heard the songs a million times or if I have played them as many times, I aim to make it feel new every time.

BAM Jumbotron/Outside of venue

Soundcheck went kind of slowly so we were kind of late getting upstairs to change, eat, etc. I was hoping to eat before the show, but I did not. Sadly that’s not the first time that has happened. I really can’t eat a whole lot before a show anyway, but I was looking forward to it. Oh well. On the up side, Risha did some awesome makeup for me. It was totally a Black Swan look for the night and I love Black Swan! Who knew it would be like that? I really loved it.

The show was supposed to start at 9pm sharp, but I wasn’t done with everything until about 9:10 or 9:15. Michele the production coordinator swooped me downstairs and then we hit the stage.
I know that folks said they were coming, but I’m still a little surprised when I see so many people. I know the show was free, but I’m not going to say that’s the only reason why the place was packed. I know it might sound strange coming from me, but I was saying that for a while. Kind of playing it down, but I’m not doing that anymore. As a friend said, “Shelley you sure do know how to sell out a free show!” LOL! I do indeed.

I did something this time with the set list I have never done before. I opened with “Go Head & Rise.” This has been my closing song for years and for good reason. It’s a huge number that people really get up for at the end of the show. It screams closer. But it was time to move the song over and make way for some new babies.

Photo by Jose Ivey

Back in the early days of the band I would close my show with “Release,” also a huge number. But when I wrote “Rise,” “Release” was moved to the top. It worked then so I thought I would try it again. Especially for those folks who have been to see me a bunch of times, I knew it would a switch to hear the song at the top.

After releasing that steamroller to open things up, we moved right into “Out of My Mind” without a break. That one I dedicated to my girl Hollie since she really loves that song. I’m also realizing that lot of people really love that song and I really love that song too if I do say so myself.

Photo by Patranila Jefferson

We took a short break after “Out of My Mind” to get a little sexy with “Give it to Me” and then we kept talking about the coochie, well at least the hot topic of who should be minding the coochie on “Punanny Politixxx.” That was a whole lot of fun. I know folks weren’t sure where I was going when I asked them to sing, “Stop playing politics with my punanny,” but soon everyone was on board. Even the men!

After that I dropped the brand new joint I mentioned above. As I said, the song isn’t finished, but I wanted to give it a twirl. Tentatively the song is called “Today is My Day,” but since it’s not all the way done, we dropped a bit of D’Angelo’s “Greatdayinthemornin’” in the middle. All the real D’Angelo heads got it. I think it went over the head of others, but people seemed to enjoy it. If you were there, do you remember? Have any feedback?

Photo by Patranila Jefferson

We rolled right out of “Today is My Day” into “I Am American” without a break. This is another crowd favorite and always a lot of fun to sing with the folks. Next stop, “In Your View.” Although we don’t close with this song, this is honestly my favorite joint at this time. I can’t wait to record this song. I can’t wait!

Finally we closed with “Power on the Floor” another sort of new one. I did it at DROM in November for the first time and it saw some light at Rockbar, but tonight I had a whole crowd to play with so it was really time for church. I’m really excited about this song too. The chorus of the song says, “If you recognize you’re on the ground/then you can get up!” The folks at BAM were really feeling it and the two young girls in the front sitting on the floor were the first people to get up! So I told the folks, “If the babies can stand up, then you got to get up!” Folks stood up and were dancing and chanting and it was beautiful.

Photo by Sara Zuiderveen
We came back for an encore with our #1 hit in Asia… No not really. But “blak Girls” is a hit. I don’t think I can really get away with not doing it in a show. It is the anthem for all kinds of women and I love when the boys sing it too.

Photo by Al Santana
This last run at BAM was great. I sold out of panties (yes I had panties) and even moved some of these good old CDs. I am really starting to feel like myself again. I am starting to see the light again. I’m starting to feel light again. It’s been a long two years, but I’m starting to talk about recording again…Finally. I’m not going to make any big declarations about when you will see the next album. I’m not going to give you any titles or special guest names. I’m not going to give you any specific info, but I will say this. The wheel is turning. The road has been bumpy, but the wheel is turning. Thank Goddess the wheel is turning. [Insert church style organ and walking bass! *wink*]

Hairs in the bushe @ BAM 
Shelley Nicole - Lead Vox
Jerome Jordan - Lead Guitar
Jeff Jeudy - Rhythm Guitar
Matsu - Drums
Ganessa James - Bass
Shawn Banks - Percussion
V. Jeffery Smith - Horns
Achuziam Maha-Sanchez - BG Vox
Ki Ki Hawkins - BG Vox

Photo by Sara Zuiderveen