When I found out that Joe and Ashanti were coming to London for a concert I was extremely excited. Admittedly, I am not the biggest Joe fan (Tyrese, Usher, Tank and Ginuwine were my go to guys for R’n’B) Ashanti, however!! I had been waiting for her for years! From time to time I’d go through phases as I’m sure most did where I would listen to nothing but back to back Ashanti classics and bangers; I was definitely not passing up on the opportunity to see her live in concert.
I kept asking my self “where on EARTH was Ja Rule???”. I still can’t believe they didn’t just do the concert together. I mean, the money they could have made?! The bangers they’ve had together – unmatched. The vibe in the concert would have been crazy, not to slate the Joe and Ashanti show but Ashanti performing songs like “Wonderful” and “Mesmerize” as a solo is no where near as mesmerising as it could have been with the original duo.
The concert as a whole was great. Ashanti had little skits playing in between her songs on the screen which added to the performance. I will also say, she was looking REAL good on that stage, I still don’t know where she got those thighs from but I’m a fan of them. She must have been squatting every day for like the last 3 years.
She performed her most well known tunes – “Only You” “Rain On Me”, “The Way I Love You”, “Baby” and “Happy”. My thing was, this concert really did show that a LOT of her best associated songs were featuring others – notably “Wonderful” and “What’s Love” and even the songs that were her own… were only a handful of top bangers, which to me highlighted the flaws in her discography. The more I think about it the more I feel like she was definitely ‘carried’ a lot by Ja Rule and the Murda Inc hit machine. She finished the show with “Foolish” and I was very satisfied overall with her part of the concert.
Joe came on with a live band and did his THING. His music is definitely that “text your ex at 1 in the morning ‘wyd’ with the heart emoji” music. I couldn’t help but wonder while Joe was singing his heart out, what happened to THAT kind of R’n’B? That cry in the rain for your girl type music, those times are actually long gone now.
As he was going through his catalogue and rolling back the years I did actually realise how long he has been doing this music thing, especially when you hear him do tunes going back to 1997.
He performed notable tunes like “I Wanna Know” and “If I Was Your Man” and after the music that will make you want to make your girl’s eyes roll back like Asda prices, he even brought on that Caribbean vibe and did “Night Nurse”. I was there thinking “this guy really has a song for every mood”. He even finished the show with Adele’s “Hello”. Why? I don’t know but I caught a vibe to it the same way.
Overall, it was a fun concert. I enjoyed, heard some classic r’n’b, went home. If you wanted to chill out, sing your heart out and reflect on how music was 15 years ago, this was your type of concert.
Words by @TalkingWithTonte