You may have seen the gossip news from last weekend’s Lovers & Friends Festival in Las Vegas: Chris Brown and Usher allegedly got into some kind of contentious backstage on Missy Elliott’s set. The two singers continued… Wait a minute. was there to the missy elliott show? Stop the repressions… It was like burying the leadership, as it was said in the news circles. Hip-hop fans knew what the main headlines in this story were supposed to be: A unicorn was seen—or other metaphors to that effect—if Elliott was seen back when Halley’s comet made a rare pass over Brigadoon during a total solar eclipse. on a stage.
Something slightly rarer happened Tuesday night in Southern California’s Inland Empire: a stand-alone headline show by Elliott. As one tweeter put it: “Why Yaamava’ Theatre?” – I reasonably wonder why Elliott followed his festive look with a one-off concert at a 2,500-seat theater at a casino resort, rather than with a full tour or, say, a night or two at the Hollywood Bowl. An hour outside of Los Angeles in the unorthodox Highland? Vegas festival and the casino concert that followed, Element, as well as what’s on the public itinerary following news of Elliott’s upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame membership. The last time he did something like a standard tour was 13 years ago, and since then Elliott may not have done more than a dozen full sets, almost all at festivals, none of which were in theaters. No wonder, therefore, that the cheapest tickets for the SoCal appearance on show day go for over $500.
Why Yaamava? For the 2,500 people who considered themselves lucky to be at the door that wasn’t on the radar of many other SoCal residents until the tweets arrived from the show, the answer would probably be “why are you asking why?” The facility seems to be using some of that hefty money to attract artists who can play and play in much larger venues (the Dave Matthews Band, for example, arrives a month before they play at the Hollywood Bowl), so audiences attending these are more intimate shows, the gift is trying to appear in the mouth of a horse. may not be very inclined. And indeed, the Yaamava’ Theater (opened a little over a year ago with the premiere show of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the former San Manuel Casino) is the ideal midsize venue of the kind that LA County still surprisingly lacks: fixed seating. and a 2,000 to 3,000 seater vehicle with good, sloping sight lines. This is something rarer than a Missy Elliott show in Southern California.
Frankly, the creator of “Work It” isn’t keen on work. often. (That’s on the recorded side, too; her last full album came out 18 years ago, but she has starred or featured on many singles since, and released a four-song EP in 2019.) Pre-handicap prospects for her return to live performance: Of course, a little it will rust…and that’s okay because he’s a legend and a favorite, even if he has to find sea legs for a minute. But on Yaamava, it seemed obvious that the pass was sleeping, because Elliott was at his peak, constantly rehearsing and touring this band and these dancers, and it was just another night on a long, adrenaline-driven ride. It presented itself as a complete package: it looks great, sounds great, energizes the crowd and comes alive with its own natural vibrancy along with the production values you’d expect from a show built for travel.
Este had just being the start of a big tour announcement… an out-of-town audition for a highly affordable (and newsworthy) arena trip in a Hall of Fame year, if you will. Right? But we’ve been wrong before.
Elliott blasted close to 25 songs in a highly animated 55 minutes – those catalog selections averaged, yes, two minutes per track. In less than an hour, there was a sense of collective surprise among the audience when the legend of “The End” appeared on the big screen to signal that it was all over; For those who have purchased tickets for four-figure fare, he may have done some calculations on how much each minute is on the way home. If Elliott gets this show on the road, he might do well to prepare the attendees for the final shock by letting them know the end is imminent so they don’t miss the finale to the cocktail break. But it would be hard to say he missed many hits to this point, and in many cases their abbreviation felt more like a gimmick than a plausible way to create an almost imperceptible burst of adrenaline. The set was a little less than perfect; If you asked him and his team to redo everything as soon as it was finished, you couldn’t help it.
Despite two costume changes, Elliott appeared with big-screen UFO graphics and eventually the 18 dancers – plus a resident skater – plugging the holes while changing their outfits. A sequined red jumpsuit gave way to a similarly shimmering black short-sleeved suit, and finally a mostly white Fendi “Baguette” suit with a giant pocket on the front. (The level of product placement was high there, as Elliott endorsed the Fendi outfit on social media: “The front pocket is so convenient for someone like me who carries a lot in my hands, now I can rock the hoodie and wear it.) Why did Elliott wear a designer fashion equivalent kangaroo pouch in the second half of the show? (He got excited on Twitter for everyone who left the show wondering if he was rocking it.) The show took little from the show. It’s like a hearty street celebration, where Elliott grins from ear to ear and raps from heart to heart as the dancers leave the formation for ’90s house party improv moments. to feel.
Any doubt as to whether Elliott’s Hall of Fame honor would be significant enough to be mentioned during a show ended when a hypermaniac aroused the enthusiasm of the crowd with two late words and a Hall of Fame chart took over the screen. She took the time to say that she was only the third woman to enter the hall in her first year of 25-year eligibility, and offered the stage to Janis Joplin and Madonna as they were the two that succeeded before her. (If you count Chrissie Hynde as the pretenders’ lead, she’ll be fourth, but you don’t need to stargaze.)
The first female rapper to be recruited and possibly the last for a while given her enduring edge, Elliott hasn’t waned in 2023 as an artist at the nexus where you’d most hope to find a master: at the intersection of skills. and joy. In the biblical sense, Elliott’s lack of full show no more counts as hiding a light under a bushel. He’s more than earned the right to hit the road as much or as little as he likes, but fans can rightly hope that it’s not just casino-goers near San Bernardino who’ve had the chance to feel like they hit it off this year. bonus.