Cee Lo Green soulful, funky - and brief - at Foxwoods Friday night
Who would have thought a Cee Lo Green concert would run shorter than an average results show of "The Voice"?
When Green played MGM Grand at Foxwoods Friday night, his show clocked in under an hour — closer to 50 minutes, in fact.
Granted, Green hit his career-so-far highlights, running through numbers from his Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley days and culminating, inevitably, with a crowd-pleasing "(expletive deleted)/Forget You" finale. But, come on, Cee Lo, why so stingy? Bring on more material from the "Lady Killer" CD, at least.
Green did open with one of "Lady Killer's" best numbers. He made like James Bond in a "Lady Killer" video and then sauntered onstage and smiled that infectious Cee Lo grin through the winning "Bright Lights, Bigger City." Yes, as always, Green exuded that quirky likability factor of his.
The show itself was pretty simple and straightforward. Descriptions of Green's upcoming Vegas concert residency have used phrases like "over-the-top creativity" and words like "flamboyant"; that wasn't the guiding principle here.
Instead, the concert had a club vibe to it. Lights pulsated and rotated. The DJ music — no band, just a DJ — boomed with bass-happy abandon. Sometimes, though, the music sounded too loud in the mix, overshadowing Cee Lo's old-school-soul, next-generation-Al-Green voice.
Midway through his set, Green — dressed in reddish-orange T-shirt and pants — brought out his Goodie Mob gang, giving the star a chance to showcase his rap prowess and reunite with his former group-mates. The segment started with cool energy but ended up dragging on too long.
Ah, but there's nothing like going a little "Crazy" to get the crowd energized again. Green had concert-goers on their feet for Gnarls Barkley's sinuous "Crazy."
For his biggest hit — either "(expletive deleted) You" or "Forget You," depending on whether you go for the parental-advisory version — Green turned the microphone toward the audience each time it came to the title phrase, allowing the fans to sing out their own PG- or R-rated lyrics.
Green's opening act was the divine Melanie Fiona, who did a half-hour stint. She's one of those performers who lives every song, conveying every love-and-heartache emotion. The woman clearly does not know how to phone it in.
The velvety-voiced Fiona returned to the stage to join Green on their Grammy-winning "Fool for You," and their chemistry was fun to watch.
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