Frankie Beverly Thrills Fans at LA’s Microsoft Theater­­

(courtesy photo)
(courtesy photo)

It doesn’t matter how many times you see Frankie Beverly and Maze live in concert, each time is reminiscent of a first kiss. From the first note, the crowd at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on July 17th was on its feet and remained so for the next 90 minutes. There’s no better way to spend a July night then to see Beverly clad in his signature all-white, who appears to relish every moment that he spends on stage with his fans….I mean family.

At 68 years young, Beverly grooves like no other. Yep, he’s still silky smooth and his band of brothers, Maze, is one of the tightest bands around. Simply put – they can flat out play. It’s hard to imagine that most of their hits are over 35 years old and any Maze fan will tell you – that’s quite all right with them. After all, you come to a Maze concert to hear and dance to Golden Time of Day, Can’t Get Over You, and Joy and Pain. As opening act Kirk Whalum said, “who doesn’t love Frankie Beverly and Maze?”

In one of the night’s emotional moments, Beverly spoke of his appreciation for all the love shown to him and Maze through the years. He spoke of the early struggles of the band from Philly as they moved west (to the Bay area) to find fame and fortune and in his words, “and almost starved to death for about 3 years.” But one night Marvin Gaye walked in and “that brother changed our lives.”

This year has been a special one for Beverly and Maze as they returned to close out the 2015 Essence Festival’s tribute to the city of New Orleans in recognition of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Beverly’s last performance on the Essence stage was in 2009. Beverly said it felt good to be on stage in NOLA and on this night in Los Angeles. He was was in fine vocal form and seemed happy to be back in stride again.