UB Concert Review: Adina Howard @ Black Repertory Theater

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ARTIST: Adina Howard
VENUE: Black Repertory Group Theater (Berkeley, California)
DATE: April 26th, 2014

A one-night performance in the Bay Area provided the chance to exemplify the exquisite talent of R&B singer Adina Howard.

Howard, best known for her hit singles “Freak Like Me” “T-Shirt and Panties” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (with Warren G) in addition to her newest award-winning single “Switch,” performed this past weekend at the Black Repertory Group Theater in Berkeley, California. The venue provided an intimate setting for her and her fans, which featured catering by Bean Creole Kitchen and support by Sky Concepts Entertainment/Battlecat Management.

While the show began promptly at 9pm (it was originally slated for 8pm), the audience was treated to a grand introduction by her promoters (who offered fans the chance to go ahead and bring their drinks AND food into the venue) stylizing the show as an intimate private performance by the magnificent Adina Howard. The show’s opening act, beautiful local singer Deltrice, provided an exciting and strong set of about 4-5 tracks which included an electrifying rendition of “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman.” Soon after, Adina’s DJ Jonney Miles came up on stage to set up her entrance, playing a suspenseful intro that included some introspective quotes from Adina herself and boom, she was up!

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With an unforgettable smile that lit up the room and a gorgeous ensemble (plus that unique hair style!), her show kicked off with the uptempo “Like Me” (taken from her “Private Show” album) that got the crowd to their feet and dancing. Additionally, the song allowed Adina to show off her rapping skills, which flowed well in place of the song’s original lyricist. Next up, she slowed the mood down (but not without some shouts of glee) with the underground hit “T-Shirt and Panties” (off her “The Second Coming” album). Silky smooth vocals, and some rousing dance moves garnered applause from the audience, leading into some witty banter and the introduction of her new single “Switch.” Teasing the audience, Adina performed the first verse and hook of the song acapella, marking it as one of the biggest highlights of the night. Of which, then, the club-ready instrumental kicked in and quickly ended, leaving buzz to hear/get the song off iTunes.

Afterwards, with some dialogue that engaged and entertained the audience, Adina showed off her vivacious personality (which would be perfect for a reality show – hey TVOne or Food Network!) and went into the portion of her show that the general public doesn’t know as well – her introspective songs. From the UK radio-buzzed track “What Do I Do” to the excellent love song “That Man” (a perfect showcase to show her love for her husband of one and a half years), fans were treated with the warmth and love that radiated from Adina. Not to say the show ended with a bit more of some racy fun, as a fellow audience member (“Looking for a male audience member who’s single!”) was pulled onto stage for the fan-favorite number “Nasty Grind.” Featuring her top-form vocals, and some insane body action (gotta love a personalized lapdance!), the song provided the night with another highlight as the crowd roared and cheered both Adina and the lucky audience member.

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Once things had settled down, DJ Jonney Miles turned up the show by spinning some classic 90s Hip Hop throwbacks, turning it into a high energy dancefest inside the venue. That led into the set’s closer of the night, the ubiquitous hit “Freak Like Me.” Keeping the crowd on their feet, Adina and her team brought the house down with the track, having the crowd sing-a-long and dancing with enjoyment. And with that, the incredible show was done, allowing fans afterwards the chance to meet and greet the talented and wondrous R&B singer Adina Howard.

A veteran to the R&B game (next year celebrates the 20th anniversary of her landmark hit single!), Adina can sure pull off an astounding show to this day, and it’s a treat for fans to see her personality, love and dedication with each one. If you ever get a chance to see her live in concert, do it. For the meantime, check out (and please download off iTunes) the energizing club jam “Switch” and get ready for her upcoming new album “The Switch Up” due later this year.

– George Portades (UrbanBridgez.com)

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