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Brian McKnight impresses with ‘More’ of his smooth sounds at BJCC

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Grammy-nominated Brian McKnight was the headliner at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center Concert Hall on Feb. 10 for ‘An Evening of Love’ with powerhouse R&B singers Kelly Price and Chante’ Moore. (Reginald Allen, special to The Times)

By Je’Don Holloway Talley

For The Birmingham Times

Grammy-nominated Brian McKnight was the headliner at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center Concert Hall on Feb. 10 for ‘An Evening of Love’ with powerhouse R&B singers Kelly Price and Chanté Moore. (Reginald Allen, special to The Times)
Grammy-nominated Brian McKnight was the headliner at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center Concert Hall on Feb. 10 for ‘An Evening of Love’ with powerhouse R&B singers Kelly Price and Chanté Moore. (Reginald Allen, special to The Times)

The silky tones of Brian McKnight’s signature falsetto could be as smooth as a soft lullaby, or as powerful as a siren, there are no limits to his vocal abilities. The Grammy-nominated McKnight was the headliner at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center Concert Hall on Feb. 10 for ‘An Evening of Love’ with powerhouse R&B singers Kelly Price and Chanté Moore.

McKnight took the stage as only a headliner would, dapper in his tailored suit, with a full band, strobing spotlights, and a mini set; he did not disappoint.  He sung a variety of songs from his 25-year catalog, including fan favorites like ‘Back at One’, ‘Anytime’, ‘More’ and ‘I Should’ve Been Loving You’, serenading a few of his ballads while playing his keyboard.

McKnight also introduced the audience to his favorite songs off his latest album ‘Better’ (released in Feb. 2016), providing an up-tempo segway into the medley that paid homage to his favorite singers and musicians: Stevie Wonder (My Love is With You), Prince (I Wanna Be Your Lover), the late Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire (September) and Michael Jackson’s (Rock with You).

The other acts were just as appealing.

Kelly Price has a professionally-polished, seasoned presence. With her powerful voice as the anchor of her show, she invited Birmingham into an evening of feel good memories as she walked them through a medley of her greatest hits. Price also shared her struggles in the music industry as a plus-sized black woman with a dark complexion, explaining how her vocals landed her on some of hip-hops greatest hits. Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems’ is Price’s most notable hip-hop feature.

Chanté Moore brought a very personal, conversational ambiance to the show, utilizing the concert hall’s cozy architecture to her advantage, and interacted with the audience throughout her entire segment. Moore was transparent from start to finish, taking song requests, while simultaneously sharing her journey in life and love. Her heartbreak ballad ‘Bitter’ was sung a capella, as she garnered audience participation, before singing her latest single ‘Real-One’.

There wasn’t a great deal of glitz and glam during her segment, but her showmanship and ability to carry a concert alone, without backup singers (or vocals), or dancers, Moore gave the audience an intimate experience they won’t soon forget. And of course, no show of Chante’ Moore’s would be complete without the singing of her most notable hit— ‘Chanté’s Got a Man.’