Saturday, March 14, 2009

Love Fest: Review of Cristina Orbe-Okanamode-Toni Hill

Cristina Orbe-Okanamode-Toni Hill
Chop Suey
March 13, 2009

So, last night I was at the Chop with, it seems, everyone from the Hidmo/Fuzzy Friends Network. I'm not even hating on who all wasn't there because everyone who showed up was love personified. I mean, how often do you go to shows where people actually DANCE? These folks looked like your older relatives at weddings who say, fuck it, i feel like moving and then get up and just start doing their own thing. A crowd of people spontaneously formed to do the electric slide and later they were two-stepping! Several people were in their own lil world--you could tell by their ridiculous grins or faded expressions--and everyone else was happily watching and cheering. There were no haters.

Unfortunately for me, I came in on the last two songs of Cristina Orbe's set. For real, I wish I had seen the whole thing. She was bringing some new material and I remember thinking to myself, I've never seen her like this before. Gone was the folksy, seated singer strumming a guitar. Last night, she had on her full, red lips and was standing, reaching into the crowd with her voice. Next time, I'm coming on time!

Then Soul Childe stepped out in his standard accoutrements--glitter, black feather boa, and tight, sculpted body--with the sassy Ms. Serious, and their band, Carousel. They had us all feeling their hip-swiveling groove. Up front, the crowd was cutting up, getting down and funky, reveling in the sexy, full-bodied funk that emanates from Soul Childe's performance. My first favorite part was when Mr. Sensual himself called me out--I was wearing that singularly stunning (I'm just sayin) yellow spaghetti- strapped dress--and we blew each other kisses. My second favorite part was when the petite Ms. Serious did her song, Chitty Bang Bang. She stepped to the front with her studded bra and shades and rocked that shit! Go 'head, girl!

Gracefully, Toni Hill let us catch our breath before she came out. The crowd had caught the spirit during the break and was chanting "To-ni Hill! To-ni Hill!" She smiled as she always does, warmly, radiating love and light, all throughout her set. If you didn't know, last night was the Seattle debut of her long-awaited album, Only Love. The crowd was full of fans who knew her from her old crew, Old Dominion, and female hip hop duo, Sirens' Echo. Miss Toni didn't disappoint us as she sang craftily of the various facets love. She romanced us, let us in on an intimate reflection on her father, and crushed with us on friends. Blacque Butterfly and Miss Floes kept it grown and sexy with some lines that won't be repeated here (but will be well remembered in case a certain someone wants to get to know me better).

Yes, it was a memorable night! I hope you copped yourself a copy of Only Love before the night was over. I'm pretty sure you can get it from the Hidmo (20th & Jackson) if you spent all your money at the bar or on condoms .

There are several things that I'm leaving out--tap-dancing phenom, Mia, for one--so leave a comment about the things that struck your eye at last night's love fest. Til the next show--cheers!