Little Richard: Live Last Night

Live Last Night

If the Alexandria sky shone a little brighter last night, there was a perfectly logical explanation: Little Richard was in town.

Clad entirely in sequins and rhinestones, the rock-and-roller announced his presence before the sold-out Birchmere crowd by saying: "Hello, I'm the beautiful Little Richard." With an introduction like that, is there any doubt why the audience spent the evening hooting and hollering, along with boogieing in the aisles?

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

After 50 years in music, Little Richard knows how to work a crowd, silencing requests and comments with a playful "shut up" in between delivering vaguely incomprehensible but nevertheless humorous asides about eating French fries and bacon with Ann-Margret in Vegas and inviting "big, fat, juicy" ladies to dance onstage.

And while his legendary piano may have been the main draw of the evening, his giant band -- nearly a dozen musicians, including two drummers, a fierce horn section and myriad synchronized moves -- was a joy to watch, their take on funk-blues the icing on the cake.

During the 90-minute set, Little Richard performed his classic hits ("Tutti Frutti," "Lucille," "Good Golly, Miss Molly," "Keep A-Knockin'") with verve rarely seen in singers half his age. He also sang "Blueberry Hill" in honor of Fats Domino and delivered a surprising cover of "Lovesick Blues," the song that catapulted Hank Williams to stardom.

He's 76 years old, slightly frail, and in dire need of a hip replacement (he spent the night in a wheelchair), but watching Little Richard bang out piano riffs along with his trademark falsetto "Woooooooo" while charming the khaki pants off of the Birchmere crowd, you'd never know he was in pain.

-- JULI THANKI

By J. Freedom du Lac |  June 9, 2009; 12:13 PM ET Live Last Night
Previous: Axl Rose Humming Live and Let Hide; Britney Does a Flash Dance; Katy Perry Unplugs For MTV | Next: Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey: Live Last Night

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I was lucky to be at the concert, the best I have seen at the Birchmere. He was very kind, specially considering the pain he was in, to sign autographs for a very long line of fans. Also a book on faith was distributed free to everybody.

Posted by: JORGEK1 | June 9, 2009 8:01 PM

I was on the front row directly by Little Richard's son, Charles. This was my first time seeing Little Richard in concert. The show was phenomenal. He said he has the best rock and roll band in the country and I tend to agree with thim. But not only was Little Richard out of this world, his son is definitely following in his footsteps. I can't say enough about him. He tore that bass guitar up while dancing and strutting his stuff reminiscent of Chuck Berry. The man was on fire. I totally enjoyed myself.

Posted by: cjo50 | June 10, 2009 12:18 PM

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