Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Erykah Badu

Show: Erykah Badu with Common
Venue: Metropolis, Montreal
Date: Early 2000's

Before I start I’d like to point out that I’m a huge Jack White fan. I’d be in the first rows whenever he would play in Montreal. I have a small collection of show posters whether it’s the White Stripes, Dead Weather, Raconteurs or with his solo career. I also own quite a few vinyl, not only his music but anything related to Third Man Records. Even my work colleague jokingly tells me I should get his face tattooed on my arm - but there’s a limit of course. So in no way am I trying to belittle D, an old work colleague with whom I saw Erykah Badu in concert.

During those days, I was working for a marketing research company. That is where I got to know D. She was beautiful (probably still is) and the first thing I told her when I met her was that she resembled Erykah Badu immensely. Not only by the way she dressed but physically also. We became friends.

I spent the summer of ’99 listening to Baduizm, Erykah Badu’s debut album. So much so that my memories of that summer are strongly tied to the album. Therefore when D proposed we go see her in concert at the Metropolis, I immediately accepted. I didn’t realize, at that time, how much of a fan she was.

Common was playing the first part. I remember enjoying it quite a bit even though I was unfamiliar with the music. He sang with a great deal of energy and at a fast pace. Then came Erykah Badu and there was something off that didn’t make me appreciate the show as much as I would have. She sang well. That wasn’t the problem. What I seem to remember is that she would cease singing in the middle of a song and start dancing. But not dancing as if you were being carried away by the music. She was parading more than dancing. All I wanted to do was listen to those songs I loved so much.

We were in the first rows. Nowadays I would tell you that being in the front is the best place to be if you want a full experience. But back then, I felt a bit uncomfortable being there. I believe D insisted. When the concert ended, I was ready to leave but Erykah Badu came back on stage to start shaking hands with the fans up front. It was nice of her but it also felt odd to see the strong urge in which her fans reached out to her. I stayed a bit behind and just waited for it to be over. D wouldn’t take it though. She really wanted me to shake Erykah Badu’s hand. She pulled me towards the front and held my arm up high. It didn’t take long that I retrieved it. Don’t actually remember if I held Erykah Badu’s hand.

This caused D to be mad at me. Even though she was staying over at my place she wouldn’t talk to me. We took the subway home but she wouldn’t enter the same car as I. On the sidewalk, we walked many feet apart as if we were strangers. We ceased being friends. I guess it happens.

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