Wednesday, 17 April 2013

GROOVE THEORY: Stephanie sparkled, Kenroy Mullings & Friends sizzled on latest leg of Live & Revive

BODY & SOUL: Stephanie giving her all centrestage.

Sounding tunefully in sync, the four-member aggregation known as Kenroy Mullings and Friends brought a sprightly vibe to Live & Revive at the Macau Gaming Lounge on Monday night, terrifically interpreting songs that span the genres of reggae, soul, and rhythm and blues. 

Best among the standout highlights of their 30-minute stint: vibrant takes on Damian Marley's "Pimpa's Paradise" and Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You." Overall, a deliriously harmonious meld of lively and energetic guitar-playing, bass (Camardo), guitar (Alton) and drums (Yohan). 

The band's performance offered a nice segue into a stint from the night's main act, reggae-R&B-neosoul Stephanie, who dazzled in a sleeveless mini dress and a fresh face as she treated patrons to a set of covers and original material. A soul-stirring take on India.Arie's Grammy-winning hit "Pearls" opened the performance, laying a solid foundation for such cuts from her seven-track debut EP, Real Woman, as the funky "Make Love" and soothing acoustic rendition of "Got It Right Here," her breakout hit that introduced her to a wider listenership last year. 

Diversity was also on the menu with a wide-ranging mix of selections -- everything from Beyonce's "Miss You" to the dancehall-spiked "Pull It Up," where a bit of saucy deejaying was in the offering. But perhaps the most surprising ace up Stephanie's sleeve was the one-two punch of soulful crooners Mario Evon and Michael-Sean Harris, who alternately joined her to duet "Stay," off Rihanna's platinum-selling latest, Unapologetic. 

"I wanted to give you all different styles and different journeys because I consider myself a multifaceted artist," Stephanie told her rapt and cheering audience, before wrapping things up with songs like "If This Is Real" Beres Hammond's "Hope We Never Get Tired" and The Fugees' "Killing Me Softly."

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