With 30 years of experience behind him, Lenny Kravitz is a force to reckon with in the rock and roll world. I won’t lie, I knew him mostly through the hits and by reputation but wanting to cross another name off my list, I decided to go see his ‘Raise Vibration’ tour. My friend and I got to the Bell Center a few minutes before show time and we were met with a nice surprise. Our tickets had been upgraded and we were now much closer to the stage. The production had decided to close the second floor and move everybody to the ‘Red’ section. I feared that the lack of people would affect the show ambiance but as soon as the lights went down, I was proven wrong.
Billed as ’An Evening With’, the absence of opening act still caught people by surprise,and many were still getting to their seats two songs into the set. Finally when he jumped into his funky cover of ‘American Woman’ that the crowd really responded with full force. The band played for more than 2 hours and they delivered on all front. Kravitz’s voice is still in perfect condition and he looks the same as always. The stage was simple but still impressive with a platform where multiple solos took place and with massive golden horns as a backdrop. The other members of the band were all impressive and helped to bring the different sounds of his music to life. A song would go into blues territory, the other one would be funk and then you would get a good dose of hard rock. Midway through the set list he brought 2 saxophonists and a trumpet player on stage: they all had their time to shine as solos and jams were plentiful.
But it’s the hits that of course got the biggest reactions from the crowd. ‘Fly Away’ and ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ were played perfectly and were met with an enthusiastic response. The chorus of ‘Stillness of Heart’ was sung by the audience as they lighted up the Bell Center with cellphones and lighters. Even if the song is not really up my alley, it was difficult to ignore the moment and the general mood of happiness in the building. Numerous times he talked about love and freedom, urging us to come together as one. He asked everybody to grab the hand of the person next to them as everyone was singing the chorus of ‘Let Love Rule’. With little moment like these, you could feel that he was having a great time and he gave it all back to the audience. Musically, it was not always for me, but the man has too much talent and energy that I smiling most of the night without even realizing it.
1. We Can Get It All Together
2. Fly Away
3. Dig In
4. Bring It On
5. American Woman (with ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ snippet)
6. Fields of Joy
7. Freedom Train
8. Who Really Are the Monsters?
9. Stillness of Heart
10. It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over
11. Can’t Get You Off My Mind
13. I Belong to You
14. Mr. Cab Driver
15. Bank Robber Man
16. Where Are We Runnin’?
17. Are You Gonna Go My Way (with ‘Love Revolution’ snippet)
18. Here to Love
19. Let Love Rule