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SHOW REVIEW: Estelle and Solange Take Over Atlanta

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Date: March 12, 2009Location: Center Stage, Atlanta, GeorgiaOne of the main tests a young musician must face is the art of giving a great live show. While it’s possible for them to get ideas by observing past and current greats, there’s an instinctive aspect to crowd control and manipulation that cannot be taught. In a recent Atlanta tour stop of Solange and Estelle, the talented divas showcased that they’ve grasped this and other musical concepts well beyond their young years.Flanked by a band clad in hot pink ‘60s styled suits and backup singers in cocktail dresses, Solange visually and audibly set a party atmosphere with the funky “Dancing In the Dark.” Rocking platform high-heels, the Southern songstress deftly balanced a clear singing voice while engaging all sides of the crowd with cavorting dance steps. Solange kept her expressive physical energy strong on her second number, “Sandcastle Disco.” However, she was a little too excitable early on and occasionally lost her singing voice in the midst of her dance maneuvers.The setback proved minor, as Solange kept the crowd’s attention with an eclectic blend of covers in the form of the Cardigans (“LoveFool”), MGMT (“Electric Feel”), and Devin the Dude (“Doobie Ashtray”). The latter proved to be the most memorable, as Solange encapsulated the hopeless despair of Devin’s lyrics into a stirring, aching soul ballad.To conclude, Solange revealed her sophomore highlight “I Decided.” By now, the audience was dancing with the Houston native, which included avant-garde songstress Janelle Monae partying with fans in the pit. Unable to resist the euphoria, Solange hopped in and helmed an extended reprise before departing to thunderous applause.Headliner Estelle built on her colleague’s momentum, courtesy of her Will.i.Am produced dance favorite “Wait a Minute.” Displaying an adorable girl-next-door charm, the chocolate beauty humored fans with several side stories of being screwed over in love through naiveté and non-committal men.Estelle also emphasized audience participation by holding a whining contest to the Island-styled ballad “Come Over,” and call and response chants to a cover of the Temptations’ classic “Get Ready.” The UK sensation next showcased her capable emcee skills by easily rocking the rapid-fire, back and forth lyrics to “Shine.”Although she admitted that performing her biggest hit, “American Boy,” was wearing thin, Estelle still delivered an inspired performance that had the sold-out ATL crowd on their collective feet.Estelle and Solange are not radio darlings that dominate the airwaves. And with the current directions of their sounds, that’s likely not to change. But in witnessing the dedication and love they’ve invested in their craft, these two singers are guaranteed to enjoy long, successful careers.**To get the latest AllHipHop Alternatives Features, follow us on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/AHHalternatives**

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