London received a long-overdue dose of Dallas for the first of a two-night celebration of 20 years of Baduizm.
Warming up for her performance, was none other than iconic British soul singer, Omar. Having never had the experience of seeing him live, I was disappointed in the lack of depth to his performance and sadly it felt a little slap-dash. The lack of band presence is strikingly obvious and his inability to go beyond a verse per song (yes, including There’s Nothing Like This), left me wanting more. Maybe that was the point. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation and general sweat which meant that nobody could hold it against him for long.
As you’d probably expect, the band was tight at all times. Taking direction from Badu, they were delicate when necessary, with tracks like Orange Moon and Time’s A Wastin, and packing a punch in equal measure, with tracks like I Want You and Fall In Love (Your Funeral).
When she started running short on time, Erykah verbally brough us up to date on the last 20 years, including when she had her babies, Window Seat-gate and laying down the reasons for making New Amerykah Part One (4th World War).
However it felt as though Badu jumped around throughout the eras, making her set a little hard to follow. She played lesser-known, more obscure tracks than classic bangers – which made for a reflective gig at times. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting to hear quintessential tracks like Next Lifetime, Window Seat or Tyrone; still, looking around at the crowd, to the “if you know, you know” looks shared between fans, suggested Badu knew exactly what she was doing