Lenny! LiveAt Bill Graham Civic
Lenny Kravitz never disappoints! LLLLLove Lenny! Definitley one of my top five artists, so with this blog, please keep in mind there may be a wee bit of a biased viewpoint. I've been seeing his shows for many years, and each and every one brings so much joy...the kind of joy that lasts for ages, (some of it quite x rated). This is the 'Raise Vibration Tour' and it does just what it says!
The four-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist elevates the union of rock ‘n’ roll, funk, blues, and soul. Since the time that "Let Love Rule" dropped in 1989, he has sold 40 million albums worldwide. And his GRAMMY® Awards, had set the record for “most wins ever in the ‘Best Male Rock Vocal Performance’ category. He's done it again on his eleventh full-length album, 'Raise Vibration'.
54 year old Lenny lives his themes, he's been quoted as saying, “When I said Let Love Rule on my debut, I had to live that for myself. It’s the same idea with Raise Vibration. He's definitely older and wiser now by three decades. This new body of work represents a powerful creative rebirth. Lenny also said, "We’re all on planet Earth together. We must do better. I communicate through music best. I create to inspire myself and, if I can inspire others, then that is beautiful.” And this comes through his music especially whilst performing live.
Lenny Kravitz always puts on a show with a positive sensual sexual energy that penetrates the soul like no other. I wouldn't be surprised if an increase in babies being conceived following his shows and possibly even throughout the days to follow, as the feeling remains. All of these feelings of 'joy' and possible increased sensuality being the outcome of experiencing Lennys energy at a live show, if ya know what I mean ;).
His show was roughly 2.5 hours long and he sang all his hits. He opened up with "Fly Away" and during the show covered all the faves like, "Low", (The Guess Who's) "American Woman", "It Aint Over Till its Over", and even a bit of Wailers' "Get Up Stand Up". Just before his "Let Love Rule" he talked for a minute about the horrible state of affairs in this country due to the orange moron in charge and appropriately went into Let Love Rule as he came into the audience and sang the song whilst walking through the crowds and touching everyone he could physically and through his words and music. In true Lenny style he walked to every part of the venue including the upper tier. From the balcony he sang more Let Love Rule as a singalong. This connection with the audience is what makes him stand out. It elevates the Lenny Kravitz performance to the highest in connectivity to his audience. Not unlike what Springsteen and Vedder do. He's another one of those special artists that seeing him live improves his status immensely. Being a woman and having eyes, I think his physical appearance is stunningly sexy. Hes one heleva beautiful man. Heterosexual men even think hes sexy! And he seems to truly love performing, always seemingly having an awesome time onstage. That combined with the fact that his loving spiritual and sexual energy come through makes the whole experience quite infectious.
His band is awesome, with Franklin Vanderbuilt as the heavy hitting backbone on drums, the wonderful Gail Ann Dorsey on bass, an excellent three man brass section, (three more stunning guys) and guitarist, Craig Ross, a longtime collaborator who was also the engineer on the Raise Vibration album. Kravitz personally produced and performed everything from guitar, bass, drums, and piano to bongos, glockenspiel, Moog, Fender Rhodes, Coral Sitar, Kalimba, and more on the new record.
With me, stood Dan and his son, 11 year old, Tolu. We were at the front of the GA, by the barrier just beyond where I normally shoot from in the pit. And Lenny was fixated on Tolu, coming over to him twice during the performance. Hugging and chatting with Tolu. It was sweet and I'm sure a memory Tolu will carry with him for his lifetime.
After Lenny played about 18 or 19 songs he ended the evening with the high energy electric "Are You Gonna Go My Way". Wow, what a way to end the night - UP! Epic show, fantastic performance...top marks for Lenny...one of the sexiest men on the planet!
As far as music is concerned...he raises the bar once again, there’s nobody like Kravitz. He’s on a vibration of his own. Who else comes into the audience, touches the fans and signs autographs during the show? His message is love, compassion and peace in the world. He affirms, “My message is one of unity. From Let Love Rule to Raise Vibration, if it motivates and inspires you, beautiful.” And it certainly does both for me!....(and the eye candy onstage was a bonus ;)!
*Note - I was not shooting with my camera gear from the pit on this night, as I do normally. I purely went as a Lenny fan without my gear, unencumbered. So the photos included below are merely iPhone photos from an iPhone 6.