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Bob Thomas


At Another Concert

The concert scene continues here in Hampton Roads.  This past weekend, it was the 70’s Soul Jam.  Make no mistake about it, I was definitely in my element.  Harold Melvin’s Blunotes featuring Sharon Paige, Blue Magic, The Delfonics and The Stylistics took the stage at Ntelos Pavilion (a beautiful venue adjacent to the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth).  Everybody there was transported back to the decade of “free love”.  The only things missing were afros, bell bottom pants, stack heel shoes and the tell-tale aroma of marijuana wafting through the venue.  Being a product of the 70’s (meaning I’m older than cable TV), I’ve seen the acts before.   The first time I saw the Delfonics was at North Carolina A&T’s homecoming.  I was attending Livingstone College and playing football.  I faked an injury just so I couldn’t make the trip to an away game.  As soon as the bus left with my teammates, I jumped in my car and headed for Greensboro.  I was so pressed to get there, I passed the bus carrying the team on I-85.  When they got back, Coach told me he saw a purple car (that’s right PURPLE, hey I’m a Que) just like mine on I-85 but he knew it couldn’t be me cause I was hurt.  The homecoming show was in the gym and I couldn’t wait to see the Delfonics.  The fact that I didn’t have any money or a ticket to the show didn’t occur to me.  Thank goodness for my frat brothers (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.), they came to my rescue.  One of them left the back door to the gym unlocked and I squeezed through the little opening of the chained doors. “ I’M IN….BRING ON THE DELFONICS!!”  But first some new group came out…..somebody called…….The Funkadelics! “ Who are these…..NO, what in the world is THIS!  Is that dude wearing a baby bonnet and a DIAPER!   And are the rest of them dressed to go IN outer space or are they FROM outer space!   Look at the boots on this cat! And is that one wearing a cod piece!  Oh my goodness and what are they throwing out to the audience?”  At that time, one of what they were throwing landed at my feet.  It was then that I discovered……they were throwing out joints!  “C’mon man, ain’t no WAY this is real!  OH, OH……..WAAAAY!  Are you kidding?!?”  Needless to say, a funkateer was born THAT day.  I became a fan of Funkadelic and the spin off groups as well.   Then came the Delfonics, wearing CAPES.  Ohhhh my goodness!  The women went crazy!  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the music and seeing them perform, albeit, through half opened eyes.  After the show, the women were still in a frenzy and the brothers of Mu Psi chapter were having an after party.  I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again ….. thirty some years later…..THANK YOU DELFONICS for a really enjoyable time (OH YEAH).  And that same saying goes for the 70’s Soul Jam as well.  THANK YOU Harold Melvin’s Blunotes featuring Sharon Paige, THANK YOU Blue Magic, THANK YOU Delfonics and THANK YOU Stylistics for taking me back to a time when the music was romantic & pure, when performers not only dressed the part but also did in sync choreography while singing and didn’t miss a note, when the audience was in harmony with the show and when no one had a beef with anyone else about anything.  Music is a time machine and through it you can relive anything.  Yeah, I’m old but I’m also fortunate and blessed because you can’t RELIVE until you LIVE.  I relived some great memories Saturday night.  And more memories are on the way….next up, the Norfolk Jazz Fest.  Bring it on!

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07/11/2010 7:31PM
At Another Concert
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