Concert Review: Toni Braxton dazzles at GRAMMY Park

Vincent Anthony
5 Min Read
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Dear Las Vegas, et. al,

Before fellow Mother/Divas Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and others perched themselves in Las Vegas to earn some coin and build their legacies, Toni Braxton was there – in 2006. Unfortunately, her stint was cut short due to medical issues and being incapable of performing. Since then, Toni has released two albums and performed countless concerts around the world, cementing her status as one of R&B’s iconic figures.

Last night, I was fortunate enough to attend my fourth Toni Braxton concert. I’m going to keep it short and sweet (like her set’s run time, honeyyyy…) and say simply that Toni never fails to put on an entertaining show; packed with hits and great vocals. However, the reason that I say Las Vegas should be begging Toni to do another residency is because she is such a humble and engaging performer – and that is perhaps something she picked up in Vegas. I have never been to a more interactive show than one of Toni’s – and she’s done this every time.

She invited a man on stage to sing with her for the Babyface duet “Hurt You,” invited two moms and a hipster up for a sing-a-long to “Another Sad Love Song,” brought an adorable elderly man on stage and sat on his lap for giggles, and then closed the show with “You’re Makin’ Me High” joined by 12 moms from the audience, dancing and singing along. Not only that, but for “Breathe Again,” she spent a good four minutes walking through the crowd and taking photos with fans. She even sat in their seats for the photo ops. It was hilariously adorable. This is the perfect sort of show for Las Vegas and would be sure to attract concertgoers there.

Or hell, why does it have to be Las Vegas? Other venues elsewhere have started doing residencies, too. The Beacon Theatre in New York hosts Mariah Carey for a Christmas residency, and Madison Square Garden has a long running Billy Joel residency going on. Surely, it might be happening elsewhere, too. Someone, for crying out loud, give Toni a residency SOMEWHERE. You are missing out on a prime opportunity.

If not, I hope Toni embarks on a proper tour and soon. I was wishing so badly to be down in the orchestra for a chance to take a photo or run on stage with Toni.

All of that aside, it was a wonderful show musically, too. Toni pulled out the classics (and slayed them) and even a rarity like “Shadowless,” which she dedicated to a fan she met in her “favorite store” HomeGoods. Said fan told Toni that the song helped her cope with her husband being away in the military. A touching sentiment, Toni dedicated the song to that fan and all men and women in the service. As well, perhaps to show some love to Brooklyn’s own Biggie, she busted out a few bars of “Big Poppa” after faking us out with a “Between the Sheets” cover. For videos of that, “Shadowless,” and more, hop over to our Facebook page (and make sure you Like us!). Check out the concert setlist below:

  1. How Many Ways*
  2. Seven Whole Days*
  3. You Mean the World to Me
  4. Another Sad Love Song*
  5. Just Be a Man About It*
  6. How Could an Angel Break My Heart
  7. Shadowless*
  8. Spanish Guitar
  9. Un-break My Heart*
  10. He Wasn’t Man Enough*
  11. Between the Sheets/Big Poppa*
  12. I Love Me Some Him (I think; I can’t remember where it went, it was super short)
  13. Hurt You
  14. Let It Flow*
  15. Breathe Again
  16. You’re Makin’ Me High*

*Denotes a video on our Facebook page!

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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.