George Benson & Al Jarreau on Tour

We actually got a good deal from our tickets as they were supposed to be 980rmb (approx 5k peso) but a friend of mine was able to get it for 380rmb (2k peso).

I am more of an RnB, Hip-hop and soul kinda guy so I wasn't really excited that much about this Jazz/Ballad concert. After office, we drove to the Beijing Exhibition Center Theater which took us around an hour because of the rush hour traffic. When we got there, people were already piled up to enter. It's my first time watching a concert in China and I was not surprised to see that the system that have to usher the spectators in was horrendously poor. It was complete mess.

When we successfully found our seats the concert was about to begin. The crowd cheered as the stage lit up ..

(apologies for the pictures, they were not allowed but u know pinoys, makulet ayaw mag paawat .. hehehe)

After a grammatically incorrect commentator finished his poorly executed introduction, the dynamic duo started the concert with "givin it to me", the carrier song of their tour.

I was amazed how goosebumps started running through my arms. They did this Jazz medley mostly instrumentals with George on the guitars, the band doing their thing and Al using his voice like a human drum. It was incredible.

The 2nd part of the concert was a solo act from Jarreau...

"Bip Bop, Badu Dop, Pam Param Pam Boom..."

He was famous for doing voice acrobatics like this and it was nothing I have ever seen before. I cant really name all of the songs that he did cuz i'm not that good at this genre, but I recalled him singing "Mashkinada" and "Spain".

Next came Benson, I was not able to get a snapshot of his solo performance cuz the guards were already on my tail. He played an instrumental medley with his guitar and did a lot of popular ballads as well, like "Nothing's gonna change my love for you, The Greatest Love of All" and my personal favorite "In Your Eyes".

Finally they got together again on stage for a spectacular close as they did some sort of upbeat Jazz number.

If you're one who's not into this sort of music (like me) and has the courage to try it.. go to their concert.. you'll have a taste of what you've been missing.


Not trusting the drawing power of its co-billed veterans, singer-guitarist George Benson and singer-"vocal percussionist" Al Jarreau, or the eventfulness of their teaming, the producers of Givin' It Up have hedged their commercial bets with a full array of guest stars. But none of the guest singers lifts the proceedings above a sleek professionalism--not Paul McCartney, who participates in a humdrum, album-ending jam on Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me"; not the wonderful Jill Scott, who emulates Billie Holiday on a modest treatment of "God Bless the Child"; and not old pro Patti Austin. Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Stanley Clarke, and Marcus Miller also turn up, agreeably but unexcitingly enough, among smooth jazzers including Marion Meadows and Patrice Rushen. The material ranges from two songs to which Jarreau adds lyrics--the 1976 Benson hit "Breezin'" and "'Long Come Tutu," based on the Miller-written title track of Miles Davis's "Tutu"--to covers of Seals and Crofts' "Summer Breeze" and the Daryl Hall-penned Paul Young hit, "Every Time You Go Away." Benson and Jarreau seem a bit hemmed-in by the crowd of name contributors. Even in smooth mode, they have done livelier work than this. --Lloyd Sachs


gender-bent responded on 6 October 2008 at 03:30 #

i heart blues! ^_^