21 years after the release of her iconic album “Baduizm,” Erykah Badu still generates the same kind of excitement when she announces some random tour dates as she did back in the day. Last night in San Francisco was no different as she sold out her show at the Warfield almost instantaneously.
Sure, she showed up late. But genius cannot be rushed. While originally slated to go on at 8:30 p.m., she ended up hitting the stage more than an hour 1/2 late. And even though the crowd was beginning to lose its patience by that point, they were quick to forgive when she strolled onto the stage like the queen of soul that she is.
Widely known as starting the neo-soul movement, throughout the years, Badu has stayed true to her artistic vision. Last night she preached, rapped, and shared her unapologetic wit with her audience but above else blessed us with that crystalline voice that can only be categorized as pure talent.
Wearing what’s become now her trademark funky hats, she accompanied it with an oversized corduroy trenchcoat and giant pointy white platform shoes, to complete a look that could only be hers. Always the avant-garde fashionista, last night proved to be no different as she brought out a few other outfits, one more eye-catching than the next.
The setlist was comprised mostly of selections from her most famous album to date, Baduizm. “On and On,” “Bag Lady” and “Apple Tree” brought out the most dance moves and cellphones videos, but they also served as reminders of how important Badu’s music has been on the music world. While it’s easy to come up with a hit or two, how many artists can claim to be the originators of an entire genre of popular music? This cultural icon has, and did it at such a young age. That in itself is the mark of true genius.
Photos by Louis Raphael