In a show that proves Mary J. Blige is ready for a Las Vegas residency, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was in top form with a performance that captured and maintained the attention of nearly 4,000 fans Saturday night at Chaifetz Arena.
Blige returned to St. Louis as part of the second leg of her “The Liberation Tour,” which kicked off last summer. Chrisette Michelle, Eric Benet and newcomer Bridget Kelly accompanied Blige as the opening entertainment.
A pre-recorded motivational-like speech opened her set, then segued into her rendition of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody."
Without wasting any time, Blige then dove right into her dance hit "Family Affair" from her 2001 No More Drama album.
The hits kept coming as she performed “Enough Cryin’” and “Real Love” while she rocked the stage showing off her toned figure in a fitted black jumpsuit and knee-high boots.
While she didn’t elaborate on the particular situation, Blige told her fans she could care less what media outlets have to say about her. It’s safe to assume she was referring to her recent tax woes that made headlines, but before the audience had an opportunity to ponder she returned to the music.
The mature crowd appreciated her when Blige covered "Outstanding," and she made sure to shout out Charlie Wilson, lead singer for the Gap Band, who made the song popular.
Blige brought fans to their knees during her own classics, too, and kept their attention just enough as she sang some of her newer hits, including “Mr. Wrong” from her latest album, My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act I). “Not Gon Cry” from the Waiting To Exhale soundtrack caused every woman to leap from their seats.
She still makes great hits, but her classics are what keep fans coming to her live shows. Overall, the performance left fans longing for more of the Mary who captured the music world’s attention in the early ‘90s, thanks to hits like “Reminisce” and “What’s The 411.”