Artist: Concert ReviewTitle: Jamie Foxx: Undpredictable Tour (Concert)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Latifah Muhammad
Jamie Foxx took a break from the movie business to entertain in the same fashion he first became famous: on the stage. Boldly mixing, comedy with his singing performance, the “Unpredictable Tour” show at Madison Square Garden on January 22nd, 2007 did not completely live up to its title, but entertained just the same.
Comedian Speedy opened up for Foxx, providing a satisfying comic appetizer that was an interesting introduction to the show. But when Ms. Fantasia Barrino hit the stage, channeling the likes of Tina Turner no less, the crowd went wild. Not only because she looked stunning in a shimmery copper mini-dress but because her raspy, powerful voice commanded everyone’s attention.
Shoeless and sweaty, Barrino oozed colossal amounts of controlled emotion with every lyric. Mixing in songs from both her albums, and a touch of old school (which included an unforgettable rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain”), she hyped the crowd just enough to get ready for Jamie Foxx.
When Foxx did hit the stage, all hell broke loose. And his comedy set was hilarious to say the least. Though, it was annoying to see him laughing so hard at his own jokes. No pop-culture stone was left unturned; as he included comments about Britney Spears, O.J. Simpson, and Michael “KKKramer” Richards racist rant at a Los Angeles comedy club.
Once the comedy half was over, he quickly changed into somewhat of an R&B diva circa 1993 (KC and Bobby Brown come to mind). Dressed in an all white suit, Foxx teasingly took the stage, attempting several R&B performance clichés: pelvic thrusts, holding the microphone stand like its a woman, and erotically entertaining tongue gestures. The crowd attentively watched the production, as Foxx jumped from covering his album, to hits from Prince, and Luther Vandross. Including a theatrical aspect was obviously key in the performance of the songs “Sex” and “Get This Money.” He even added a stripper pole and fake money raining from the ceiling, as if we couldnt get the picture from the song titles.
Just when the crowd thought it was over Foxx appeared dressed as Ray Charles in front of a white piano. This impression was typical but so dead on, it was almost scary. From his body language, to voice (both speaking and singing), Foxx wanted to remind us why his performance as the singer was Oscar winning. Singing “Georgia” and “I Got a Woman,” he even managed to mix in a few jokes while in his Ray Charles disguise.
Though at times, the show felt a little too self indulgent, it never failed to entertain, excite, or leave the audience mildly aroused. The fusion of comedy and music, allowed Foxx to show off his dual personalities in the most appropriate arena, but there were times when he lost the audience by being too polished and dare I say, predictable.