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Concert Review :Franke Beverly & Maze, "I Wanna Thank You Farewell Tour” @ Capital One Arena

Photos Courtesy of Brian Stukes

On Friday, June 14th, soul music and musicianship were celebrated in the Nation's Capital when music icons Frankie Beverly and Maze performed at the Capital One Arena. The tour, aptly titled "I Wanna Thank You Farewell Tour," featured support acts After 7 and Keith Sweat.

The event kicked off with a delightful surprise: comedian Damon Williams delivered a set of family-friendly quips and jokes. The excitement continued to build as After 7 took the stage to resounding applause, opening their segment with the energetic "Heat of The Moment." After 7's portion featured their soulful rendition of "Baby I'm For Real (Natural High)" and their new single, a cover of Sade's "No Ordinary Love."

The group also found time to make the audience dance with their signature dance floor lyric, "Can't Stop ."However, my favorite portion of their performance was hearing their soundtrack efforts, "I Care About You" and "Nights Like This." After 7 concluded their appearance with their well-known song, "Ready or Not,"

After a lengthy delay, R&B lothario Keith Sweat was up next. I've seen Mr. Sweat live numerous times in the last few years, and his set has mostly stayed the same. Given that he wasn't the headliner, Mr. Sweat offered an abbreviated version of the usual show. Dressed in a dapper blue & black attire, Sweat kicked things off with "Make U Sweat," transitioned into "Don't Stop Your Love," followed by "I Want Her." The latter featured a lush interpolation of Cameo's "Candy."

Naturally, it's not a Keith Sweat show without some beginning baby-making slow jams. "I'll Give All My Love To You," "Merry Go Round," "There U Go Tellin Me No Again," "Get Up On It," "Right & Wrong Way," and the LSG bops "My Body," and "Door #1" were all met with the admiration from the ladies in the audience. Keith closed out his show with "Nobody."

Finally, it was time for Frankie Beverly & Maze! The audience clearly understood the assignment as they were dressed in all white. Despite their extensive catalog, Maze narrowed their setlist to around eleven songs for the D.C. show. To my surprise, the group went deep in the catalog, opening with "You" and following up with "I Want to Feel I'm Wanted."

The rest of the show was nothing but hits, including "We Are," ne," "Back In Stride,", "and "Running Away." On the ballad side, "Golden Time Of Day, "Can't Get Over, You," and "Happy Feelings" were all performed . The group concluded the show with a one-two two punch of "Joy & Pain" and "Before I Let "Go".

While he is seventy years young, it's no secret that Mr. Beverly's voice isn't what it was in his prime days. Nevertheless, Maze's music has always been about unity and love, which was the vibe of the performance. With the band as sharp as ever and fans who know every song word for word Frankie's farewell stop in D.C. was a success.


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