PHOTOS BY IAN DOREIAN
Erykah Badu represents a lot of things to a lot of different people. She’s a renegade whose manic and self-aware intensity inspires others to question—and often go against—societal conventions. She’s a songstress whose comfort in political poesy silences those disingenuous and bullshit-breathed artists.
She is a woman who celebrates her beauty, and will curtly dismiss anyone who doesn’t appreciate it.
And to a sold-out crowd at the House of Blues Sunday night, all of these elements dazzled dedicated fans and newcomers alike.
Performing her startlingly potent debut album Baduizm in its entirety, onlookers were captivated by her presence—or omnipresence—as soon as she graced the stage to kick off the evening with “Rim Shot.” As always, she was effortlessly gorgeous as she donned a simple t-shirt and a plaid wrap-around skirt, which she later took off to reveal neon-printed tights underneath.
Her voice was tinged with just the right amount of soul and emotional wallop. But by the time she got to “4 Leaf Clover,” she made it clear that she was having a great time, as she joyfully danced and engaged in banter with her mesmerized audience.
As the opening track served as bookends for her performance,
she had no shame in making us practically beg for an encore—and what an encore it was.
“Danger” was performed with unobtrusive fervor, and for “Bag Lady,” she was ballsy enough to climb into the crowd. Even when her wig and beanie were snatched off, she chided on stage that “she didn’t give a fuck” and just kept dancing.
As she belted out a single line from “Window Seat” to end her set, her smile from ear to ear had summed up everything she’d done that evening: came, saw, and conquered.