Official Site Al Green: www.algreenmusic.com/
Official Site: Kristina Train: www.myspace.com/kristinatrain
Well this one is a sentimental day on my 10th wedding anniversary and memories of Stephanie’s mom Lucile Brown (RIP) were vividly in our minds as we are about to see a true legend in Al Green. I’m not shy letting you know I’ve been a fan of Green’s since my days in Queens, NY.
My parents always listened to Al Green, FOUR TOPS, THE TEMPTATIONS and many others. But tonight Mr. Green is in town, and we were lucky enough to be granted press tickets and photo passes from Steph Brown at Jazz Publicity. This will be our first visit to the recently renovated and re-opened (Oct. 2008) Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey.
The opening act was a little band out of Savanah, GA that had just relocated to NJ. The band is named for the lead singer Kristina Train. Let me tell you, looks can be deceiving and there is no way I would have thought that woman could sing like that. She absolutely blew me away. The song that sent me over the top was "The Weight" an Aretha Franklin Hit. This is the first time that I can remember that anyone did justice to an Aretha Franklin song. Mostly, the great voices fall flat on their faces... Mariah, Whitney, Celine... So, if you get the opportunity Check her out!
Al hit the stage at 9pm with a sold out crowd going wild. Right from his first step on stage Green had the crowd in his hands. Most artists could only dream of having the charisma and power Green possesses. He is an amazing front man and many artists could learn from his qualities. He truly loves his fans and you could feel the love flowing through his 90-minute set.
Green poured every ounce of his power into every song starting with “I Can’t Stop” then “Let’s Get Married”. Green must have given out three dozen roses to many in the front rows and at times coming off the stage into the audience.
Song after song fans were on their feet, singing along, and dancing, and just having a good time. After just about every song Green would tell the fans ‘I Love You!’ and The feeling I had was this was no gimmick. Green was simply amazing going from side to side of the stage dancing and dropping to his knees, sweating with veins popping from his neck reaching those great high notes.
A few times Green would mention, ‘many wonder does Al still got it…’ and let me say his voice might even be stronger now than in the past. This guy can sing high and low notes with ease. Green was backed by a fourteen-piece band that did an amazing job with backup singers, horn section, two keyboards, two drummers and two dancers.
When Green started one of my favorite tunes “Let’s Stay Together” it gave me chills how good the tune was but the memories of both Stephanie’s and my parents and feeling they were looking over our shoulder dancing along by our side! This was like the ‘best of the best tour’ with “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”, a medley “I Can’t Help Myself” “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”, “My Girl”, “Bring It on Home to Me”, “Dock of the Bay, "You Are Everything" and "I've Been Lovin' You Too Long".
I really can’t say enough how professional and how much of a perfectionist Mr. Green was. Nearing the end of the night with the last song “Love and Happiness”, it just brought the house down. Green mentioned he just came back from Sweden but was more excited to come home and be in New Jersey, the guy just couldn’t leave the stage blowing kisses and thanking people a million times.
I’ve seen metal show, I’ve seen rock shows, I’ve seen alternative shows and almost all genres but NOTHING can compare to Al Green. All bands should go to his show and see what a true legend is like and learn from him being thankful to the fans and meaning it. A TRULY FANTASTIC EVENING!!!