Alicia Keys-Freedom Tour

So last night, I attended my first major concert!  I saw my favorite female musician, Alicia Keys, perform at Madison Square Garden!  After waiting outside for a few minutes and swiftly going through security, my friend Paris and I nearly drowned in a sea of Alicia Keys fans on the way to our seats.  And when we finally reached the tippy-top floor of the Garden, I took my seat (D4 in section 420) and realized that though we were really high up, we were adjacent to the stage.  Too far away to take decent photos, but in a good position to see the action (even behind the scenes).
I was going to do it big - so of course, I bought a big bag of cotton candy ^_^.  Thoroughly enjoyed it!  The show was scheduled to start at 7:30.  And even though most people weren't yet seated, Jermaine Paul, Alicia Keys' background singer who is transitioning into a solo career, performed a few of his songs.  A little later, Melanie Fiona performed several songs, including "Monday Morning," "Give it to me Right," "Ay Yo," and "It Kills Me" from The Bridge, and "Sweet Thing" in tribute to Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige.  She did her thing in a cute, sparkly dress.  Afterward, Robin affected the audience with his suave-olocity.  I'm not a fan, but the crowd went wild as he performed songs including "Dreamworld," "Magic," and "Lost Without You."  His bright red piano was pretty flashy, and so was his exit - he and his entourage left the stage singing and dancing to Lil' Wayne's "A Milli."  By this time, I was soOoO ready for Alicia to grace the stage.  A fellow fan nearby felt similarly.  He started yelling, clapping, dancing, and crying sporadically - blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol...he was messed up.

Around 9:30, the main show officially began.  Images of freedom flashed across the LED screens on stage as Alicia announced, "I'm a renegade. I'm a truth seeker. They told me I would never make it and I did. They told me I wasn't strong enough but I am mighty. The element of freedom is tattooed on my heart."  She came on-stage in a chained cage singing "Caged Bird" from her debut album, Songs in A Minor.  After breaking free from the cage, she sang "Love is Blind" from the new album, The Element of Freedom.
Some highlights of the night included a piano studded with LED lights along the body.  At one time, "Play Me" scrolled across the it - nice touch!  She also had this ultra-fierce keyboard guitar that was shaped like a key - pretty clever!  Her outfits included a lipstick red tail coat with black top and shimmering black pants, an elegant white gown with exposed back and jeweled neckline, and a rocker chic black top/ bottom combo with metal accessories.  No doubt, I ,along with everyone, was stunned and ecstatic when the answer to my secret prayer was given - Alicia Keys called Beyonce on stage to perform "Put it in a Love Song."  The two ladies rocked it!
Alicia proclaimed her love for her fans through one of my favorite songs ever, "If I Ain't Got You."  She gave killer performances of "You Don't Know My Name," "Fallin'," "Karma," "Pray for Forgiveness,"  "Diary," "Go Ahead," "I Need You," "Superwoman," "No One," "Like You'll Never See Me Again," "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart," "My Smile," and "Unthinkable" as well.  And my absolute favorite part was this:  Alicia performed the beginning verse and chorus of "Empire State of Mind, Part II."  All of a sudden, Swizz Beatz runs on-stage crumping to "On to the Next One."  I had expected this moment, but was crazy excited when Jay-Z came out to perform "Empire State of Mind" with Alicia (and the lively crowd).  Everyone was standing, shouting, dancing - hands were in the air and hearts were in the clouds!  When the hook came in, we all sang along, and the the spirit of New York was alive and powerful!
I had a great time with Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyonce, all other artists, and my fellow fans.  We shared a night to remember - one that I will never forget!  I can't wait for my next concert (Nas perhaps)!  But until then, my experience last night will keep my musical soul satisfied ^_^.

Alicia Keys performs with Beyonce!

Alicia Keys performs with Jay-Z!