Concert Review: Mary J. Blige wows them in Texas

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    Concert Review
    Mary J. Blige, Queen Naija, Elle Mai
    Dickie’s Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
    October 2, 2022

    Sisterhood, soliliquies and soulful hollerations in the dancerie: church serivices had ended hours ago, but there was certainly a revival-type atmosphere as thousands of ecstatic fans communed with Elle Mai, Queen Naija and headliner Mary J. Blige in Ft. Worth TX's Dickie's Arena on Sunday night. 

    Concert Review
    Mary J. Blige, Queen Naija, Elle Mai
    Dickie’s Arena, Fort Worth, Texas
    October 2, 2022

    Sisterhood, soliliquies and soulful hollerations in the dancerie: church serivices had ended hours ago, but there was certainly a revival-type atmosphere as thousands of ecstatic fans communed with Elle Mai, Queen Naija and headliner Mary J. Blige in Ft. Worth TX's Dickie's Arena on Sunday night. 

    The theme of the Good Morning Gorgeous Tour is self-care and empowerment, a celebration of three unique voices and sponsored by Hologic, a company Blige has partnered with to bring a larger spotlight to the need for wider access health care screenings  and self for women (there were screened public service announcements indicating such). And throughout her hour-long set, Her Highness Mary accomplished just that: With a band, DJ, male and female dancers, Mary arrived in head-to-toe pink, waist-length platinum blond curls and opened with GMG's "So Amazing," the excitement factor enhanced by actual flames and a digitized backdrop displaying her journey over the last three decades to become our indisputable Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. Her newer songs ("On Top," Rent Money," Failing In Love," "Here With Me") were received enthusiastically, especially when paired with her signature 'go Mary!' moves. Blige also poignantly delivered the title track draped across a plush divan, demanding that we love ourselves unconditionally and chastising herself for taking so long to follow her own advice.  

    Revered like royalty, yet accessible like a favorite sister or auntie (depending on the generation you claim), Mary charged through a satisfying selection of crowd-pleasing hits: several of them, like "Real Love," "My Life," "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" and "I'm Going Down" were so beloved that Blige let the audience serenade her rather than the other way around: every ad lib and every inflection were tossed back to Her Majesty in unison, which created expressions on her face of awe and pride. MJB didn't want anyone to walk away feeling she was still in the thick of it, however: After dropping the bridge of "Not Gon' Cry," she sagely declared, "the [expletive] wasn't worth it--- if you see me crying now, they are tears of joy: I'm single, free and know I can do bad, and good, all by myself!" 

    Her opening acts also used well-tuned voices and anthems of joy and pain to connect with the crowd: flanked by fishnet-clad female dancers, Queen Naija earned applause and sing-alongs for her songs filled with romance ("Butterflies"), reckoning ("Pack Lite") and of course, revenge ("Karma," "Medicine"). Elle Mai's favored selections, "Boo'd Up," "Trippin'" and "DFMU," covered both ends of love's spectrum and encouraged her fans, male and female, to let it all out.....isn't that what self-care is all about? 

    By Melody Charles