June 1, 2023

Grace Jones played Hammerstein Ballroom

Living icon Grace Jones played Hammerstein Ballroom for her first show of 2023.

Sitting atop a massive lift raised high in the air that featured a gown dripping to the stage floor, the legendary Grace Jones truly descended upon Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom in extraordinary fashion to begin her magnetic performance to a sold-out crowd. Beaming from all angles, she kicked off the night with "Nightclubbing" and instantly brought technicolor vibes to the venue which radiated off the crowd and right back to the stage, giving the singer every bit of energy she needed to perform a dazzling show full of elaborate costume changes that gave the singer new dynamics for each stunning number. Decked out in gowns and phenomenal headgear, the iconic singer never ceased to amaze her devoted crowd and unleashed pure cosmic energy into the theatre for a night of fabulous club music that stretched across the corners of the globe. Taking everything from R&B, techno, reggae, and rock, she was an unstoppable force of nature that transcended time and space to deliver a show of unrivaled talent. Her deep, sultry voice was at times a bit low in the mix and difficult to hear at first, but her vigor and sheer tenacity to deliver a top-quality show made up for any shortcomings due to the sound mix (after all, the woman is 75 years young and to deliver anything close to what she did on that stage was a feat in and of itself). Riding the mechanical lift up and down and gyrating along while singing The Pretenders' "Private Life" was a sight to be hold, her poise and dominance a true spectacle. Following her return back to Earth, she whipped into "My Jamaican Guy" which was the turning point of the night that found Jones hitting her groove and bringing solid beats to the night before hitting the mark with "Demolition Man" and finally got the crowd to be fully engaged as the singer strutted her stuff across the stage with fierce determination. After declaring to take us all to church, she launched into a spellbinding rendition of "Amazing Grace" which she belted with the utmost fortitude before turning it over to the audience to recite the words back to her in a real heavenly moment, her voice coming to life with each passing second and somehow growing more powerful with each provocative note. "Of course you want to rock!" she declared shortly after the crowd finished their final verse and as the stage dimmed to a stark, glowing spotlight that illuminated just her in a sparkling top hat as she proceeded to crush her cover of Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug," a song which turned into another magical number that felt the room come alive once again with unmatched energy. From here on out, the crowd was fully entranced with Ms. Jones' wonder, spirit, and mystical powers that she proceeded to showcase with absolute force as she dove into a rhythmically charged "Pull Up to the Bumper," unquestionably the biggest hit of the night and the one that saw the crowd scream and rise to their feet as the synthy disco smash proceeded to blanket the crowd with pure euphoria. The rubbery bass creating a ridiculous groove that had everyone wobbling in true joy. Of course she took things up a notch for the following hit "Slave to the Rhythm" during which she hula-hooped throughout the entire number, never loosing the beat or her breath along the way. It was a jaw-dropping thing to witness and unlike anything I've ever seen as she shuffled across the stage, the hoop spinning with grace while she detonated the vocals with magnificent power. The level of composure and stamina to be able to pull off such a feat continues to blow my mind, but for Grace it couldn't have looked any easier. She capped off the night with "Hurricane" which saw her rise to a platform and perform the number against a massive fan which caused her outfit to billow behind her as fog wrapped her up in a state of, well, grace. It was yet another mesmerizing moment from the star which found her in unbridled power mode as if she was ready to conquer the world. As the curfew approached she serenaded us all with an acapella version of "La Vie En Rose" which was the heartfelt sendoff we all needed after an evening of absolute magic and total pleasure.

Set list:

01 "Nightclubbing"
02 "This Is"
03 "Private Life"
04 "My Jamaican Guy"
05 "I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)"
06 "Demolition Man"
07 "Williams' Blood"
08 "Amazing Grace"
09 "Love Is the Drug"
10 "Pull Up to the Bumper"
11 "Slave to the Rhythm"
12 "Hurricane"
13 "La vie en rose"

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