Photo by Joe Johnson, Crossroad Images. Click here to see his complete photo gallery.
There aren’t many entertainers left with the rock star magnetism and raw talent of Lenny Kravitz. In a time when pop music seems to rule the radio, Kravitz proves that classic retro sounds are just as popular today as ever before.
Kravitz appeared on the stage roughly twenty minutes after showtime; however, it was obvious all was forgiven the moment he appeared. Out of the smoke and darkness appeared a silhouette standing high upon the riser with guitar in hand. The reverberation of electric guitar came from a massive mountain of speakers stacked on each side of the stage and Kravitz hadn’t even touched his guitar yet. The crowd roared in anticipation. This was going to be loud, but it was going to be good! Then he began to play. He opened the show with “We Can Get It All Together” from his new album Raise Vibration that was released last year.
He kept the momentum going by performing the always popular “American Woman” early on in the set. Kravitz morphed the song into “Get Up, Stand Up” (The Wailers cover) by slowing down the beat to “American Woman” and giving it a more reggae sound. He began repeating the lyrics at a much slower pace this time before switching the lyrics completely over to “Get Up, Stand Up.”
After the third or fourth song of the night Kravitz took a moment to address a fan in the front row. “I don’t mind the pictures and phones, but let’s connect and live in the moment. My love, I meant no offense.” He asked that everyone put away their phones and be still for a moment. He went on to say “They want to keep us busy so we don’t notice what’s going on in the world.” After that short interlude, it was back to the music.
The set was a mix of classic Kravitz tracks as well as tracks from his new album. The night included “Get Away,” “Dig In,” “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” “Freedom Train,” “I Belong To You,” “Who Really Are the Monsters,” “Stillness of Heart,” “Low,” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind,” to name a few.
His message of simplicity and peace went over well with the audience. Several times during the night, he removed his sunglasses to take a look at the audience with his own eyes. The crowd loved it. For a brief moment it felt like he revealed the real person behind the pre-packaged persona.
The night was a perfect display of that classic ‘60s/’70s guitar sound, psychedelic light show, and free-spirited mindset. Kravitz transports you throughout time and space through his use of current and retro musical flavors. His message of peace and love was bold, unforgiving, and powerful. Kravitz is easily one of the most lovable rock stars ever. By the end of the night, the entire crowd was infatuated with the singer. In all the excitement, one audience member even threw her bra on stage.
For his encore performance, he sang “Here To Love” and “Let Love Rule.” The latter was a fitting end to the peace-filled atmosphere. It was also quite possibly the longest record-breaking version of the song ever performed, with a running time of just under 30 minutes.
Seeing Lenny Kravitz play live is one of the most powerful performances you’ll ever witness. If given the chance, make sure to check him out in concert. You won’t regret it. | Jennifer Manjarez