Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
March 10, 2017
It’s been more a decade since Alicia Keys performed at RodeoHouston, and a lot has changed since then.
Keys had only two albums to her name when she last headlined – Songs in A Minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys. But between those two records, the New York-born singer-songwriter had already crafted quite a few chart-topping singles, including “Fallin,” “A Woman’s Worth,” “You Don’t Know My Name” and “If I Ain’t Got You.”
Since then, Keys has released another four albums, three of which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Most recently, 2016’s HERE saw Keys challenging her radio-friendly pop sound with more experimental tracks, many of which were significantly more aggressive than anything else in her catalog.
Right afterward, she launched into “The Gospel,” one of the most aggressive tracks off HERE. Keys flaunted her ability to blend singing and rapping while regaling the crowd with a compelling story – that of the struggle and hardship experienced by underprivileged New Yorkers.
And back and forth the evening went, with Keys walking a tightrope between R&B diva and tenacious New York artist. Unbelievably, she managed to be both simultaneously.
Keys was true to her work, the crowd and herself Friday night. She smiled brightly, hit the high notes and had fans singing along all evening long. Here's hoping she managed to entice a few concertgoers with her new material, because HERE might be her best record yet.
To close out the show, Keys performed “Empire State of Mind,” an ode to her hometown. She sang of streets that made visitors feel renewed, of inspiring bright lights and the dreams that blossom in such a concrete jungle.
If that isn’t a sentiment Houstonians can connect with, I don’t know what is.
You Don’t Know My Name
Pawn It All
Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
You’ll Never See Me Again
If I Ain’t Got You
Work On It
Girl On Fire
Empire State of Mind