In a venue some three times the size of the first, Tobe and his travelling ensemble of collaborators, plus some unexpected cameos, held court over 2,800 or so of their closest "cousins". The homecoming tour finale was, in some respects, a repeat of the same unparalleled energy and showmanship we've come to expect from a Tobe Nwigwe concert — now his third in Houston. The Revention show, however, scaled that concept beyond the intimacy of a small theater, presenting a well-polished and refined image of Tobe Nwigwe. Still in awe of the heights he continues to reach, Nwigwe is no longer fazed or seemingly affected by the magnitude of each moment.
As in previous performances and during the course of both tours, Tobe's show at Revention featured an army of guests and performers, both big and small. While Nwigwe, like the band leader and CEO he is, remains firmly at the fore of each project, his career can be defined as much by the artists his success has illuminated as by his own creativity. Last night featured performances by Paul Wall, Alief's own Young Deji, singer Susan Carol, regular Tobe collaborators Luke Whitney and David Michael Wyatt, Tobe's producer LaNell Grant and wife Fat, as well as dozens of dancers and a marching band.
While the evening featured many of Nwigwe's recent singles, songs like "Hella Black" and "What They Say Now," the theater shook at the introduction of those tracks which marked Tobe's early career. None more so than the powerful and profoundly moving "What It's For." The 3:30 autobiographical affirmation, performed as a solo act with no hook or chorus, set the high water mark for energy and emotion — a mark matched only by the most unexpected and unusual (maybe not for the Nwigwes) moment of the night.
The moment, for those unfamiliar with how Tobe Nwigwe shares every moment of his life and career with a fan base he likes to call his cousins, might have felt unusual. For most of the thousands in attendance, the reveal was not only unsurprising, but among the many reasons they love and support the man the way they do; he makes them feel, quite sincerely, like family.