Friday, June 30, 2006

Diggin' Devaughn

Raheem Devaughn continues to impress. On his CD the most of the songs blend together and the tempo isn't varied enough. His live performances, however, are a must see. The diminutive singer's energy fills the stage. (And Amos' has a big stage). He's the sensual thug lover with his tattooed arms and cornrows. He's stepped up his show since I last saw him at Tonic. He has a four-piece band, two background singers and a painter. Yes a painter. It sounds too gimmicky, but it worked. He painted a piece with the Bobcats and Panthers logos.

Devaughn stretched and wound songs off "Love Experience" into more than an hour-long set. He didn't just stretch his songs into jams, but tossed in soul staples such as Marvin Gaye and Earth, Wind and Fire. He even threw in a go-go set and, of course, he got on the floor and danced with the ladies. After the show he signed autographs and posed for pictures for about an hour.

Thursday's show drew a who's who of the neo-soul scene: DJ Stacy Blackman, promoter Thomas Washington, Brian Springs of Groove Records, WBAV's Letha Taylor and Tempo's Juamane were a few of the folks in there.

Oh, I can’t forget J.C. He put it down as the MC and DJ D.R. gave fans a blazing' mixing of old school hip-hop, dancehall reggae and go-go.

The new Amos' Southend

Amos' Southend is the now the best live venue for big shows. I finally got a chance to see the remodeled space on Thursday night for the Raheem Devaughn show. Devaughn was as good as expected, but I was blown away by the changes at Amos'. It's hard to imagine it's the same space. The inside was completely gutted and to ceiling raised to show exposed wood beams. It's so high you could shoot basketball inside. The stage is twice as big and takes up one wall.

The dance floor or stage viewing area stretches from the front wall to the rear, and the upstairs is completely different. It consists of balconies on both sides that overlook the floor and stage. There's a bar upstairs on the far wall. The bar downstairs wraps down one wall and there's another bar on the far wall.

The capacity is like 1,500 so even if there's a line outside, there's plenty of room inside. For example, did you go to the matchbox twenty or the Roots concert at Tremont? Remember how stifling and packed it was? Those shows would fit comfortable in Amos' now.

Oh, there aren't any chairs yet, but owner John Ellison said he'll be getting some chairs and tables soon.