|When its summertime in the Washington metropolitan area there are some things
you can always count on. Heat, humidity, storms and a visit from Maze
featuring Frankie Beverly.
If you are new to the area or have been hiding out behind a memorial or
something, you may not realize that this town has big time love for Frankie
and the boys. One would suspect he may one day have a key to the city I he
hasn't already been so honored.
Just think, this band released their first recording in 1977! They have had
little if any crossover success and they can still pack the house. This is
testimony to the fact that they have stuck to their core audience and groove.
Appearing at the Pier 6 in Baltimore recently, Frankie strolled on stage in
his usual unassuming attire, the traditional white cap with matching white
shirt and pants. The band revved things up with the rallying cry composition,
"Runnin Away." Obviously Frankie's appeal goes beyond the Nation's Capital
cause this B-More crowd was singing along hit by hit, verse by verse. Easing
from upbeat tracks "Back in Stride," "You" and a host of quiet storm-friendly
tracks, the band could do no wrong.
As always when the notes for "Happy Feelin," "Joy and Pain" and "Before I Let
Go" were recognized, a euphoria seemed to come over the faithful Maze
followers. Sometimes you get the idea this is all that people come to hear
and the rest is just gravy. Frankie addressed the crowd and sincerely thanked
them for years of support and promised new material when it feels right. "I
have got to feel right as an artist," he boldly stated. I was puzzled by the
"Laid Back Guy" encore and the omission of the current hit found on the
soundtrack to the movie The Brother's, "Teach Each Other."
One Capitol Heights native's comment about this her first Maze concert,
captured the whole experience, "You can put on their CDs, they sing the songs
like their recordings," she said. That's the point. A Maze concert is NOT
like a box of chocolates, you Know what you're going to get -- authentic soul
by professionals with a dash of flash from well planned out lighting
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly perform at Constitution Hall with Keith Sweat
July 27 & 28, 2001 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $56 at all Ticketmaster outlets.
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