When Lisa Stansfield’s monster hit “All Around The World” was released in 1989 I was floating upon the high seas cut off from radio, TV, and music news. Yet somehow her album “Affection” made it into my collection after listening to a couple of tracks at a record store. As much as I liked this and her follow up albums, I confess, I lost track of her.
As Stansfield put it in an interview with the NY Post “I think most people in America think that I’ve just been sitting on my ass eating chocolates and watching TV for 20 years,” says Stansfield, who released her “Deeper” album in April. “I suppose coming back is reminding people that I’m still alive.”. Well consider me reminded! I greeted the email announcing yesterday show at the Pantages with a: “Holy Crap!” and had been looking forward to this show for some time now.
Whoever picked the house music at the Pantages dug out some great late 80s songs with Grace Jones and Terence Trent D’Arby (twice) catching my attention.
Minneapolis’ Chris Koza got the evening started. His calm singer/songwriter personality may seem an usual choice to open for a Soul Singer, but has he put it: “All music comes from the heart”, and Koza’s certainly does. It was just Koza, his guitar and an occasional harmonica but he drew the audience into the beautiful world of his music. He also had a very Minnesota moment when he talked about snowbirds leaving Minnesota for the winter. The response from the audience? “This is Minnesota, we commit!”
Lisa Stansfield travels with a full 8 piece band who started her set with a funk intro before she took the stage with the first track from her new album “Everything”. It was like no time had passed at all – If I heard that song anywhere I would know the artist. Stansfield and husband / co-writer Ian Devaney know what works well for her and stay with that.
“Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” was introduced with a request for people to get up and dance – “and if they try to stop you, I’ll pull them off” she encouraged fans. Not that they needed much encouragement – most of the audience was on their feet for her lively songs. Her voice is impressive and has held up very well. The set list artfully weaved her classic hits with new songs keeping the crowd’s attention.
Last night’s show was a gift to me. I never expected to be able to see Lisa Stansfield live, I’m still smiling writing this 🙂
Set List: Everything \ Deeper \ Never, Never Gonna Give You Up \ Hole In My Heart \ Make Love to Ya / Everything Will Get Better \ Change \ So Natural \ Time to Make You Mine \ All Woman \ Someday (I’m Coming Back) \ You Can’t Deny It \ The Real Thing \ Never Ever \ People Hold On \ All Around the World
Encore: \ Butterflies \ Live Together / Young Hearts Run Free