Live Last Night: Ledisi

Oakland singer Ledisi is a truth-teller, and she warned her audience at the Birchmere on Thursday to brace themselves for a night of sobering reality checks. Making good on that promise, Ledisi served up straight talk all night long--refusing to ease up even when she made her fans squirm in their seats.

"Some of y'all are in dysfunctional relationships," Ledisi said during a long interlude that cut through "In the Morning," from 2007's "Lost and Found." "Some of you are sitting next to dysfunction right now, but you can't say anything, because they bought your ticket to the show, they bought your drinks and your dinner, and they're probably your ride home!"

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

Thankfully, Ledisi occasionally took a break from preaching and gave fans an opportunity to do some singing and dancing. "It's a mixture of church and a juke joint," is how the Grammy-nominated artist described her live show, and indeed lighter moments balanced every tough sermon.

Ledisi got the people moving for "Joy" and "I Tried," then started talking about God during "Think of You." "As you can see, this isn't a booty song," she said of the uptempo ballad. "And if it was your booty song, I just ruined that." For every funky, fun track like "Get Outta My Kitchen," which appeared on her debut disc, "Soulsinger," there was a "Someday," which Ledisi wrote for her parents and used as a springboard for a discussion of forgiveness.

She also gave a lot of real talk about the economy, especially during "Alright" and "Take Time," both songs about slowing down and appreciating what one has. Instead of using her show to distract folks from the issue, she decided to dive in and tell everyone that things would eventually work out, whether they wanted her reassurance or not.

"You don't want to hear this, but it's my show--I can say what I want!" she explained.

--SARAH GODFREY

By David Malitz |  February 27, 2009; 12:32 PM ET Live Last Night
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