Live review

Lenny Kravitz
Astoria, London : 18.6.2002

Lenny Kravitz - Click to enlargeTo begin with, the first thing I can say is that opening for Lenny was the best support band I have seen in ages. They go by the name of Ellis and are from Wales. Fronted by someone who could easily be mistaken for actor Vin Diesel, as he appears in The Fast And The Furious, the band come across as a cross between Creed and Sevendust with great measures of originality thrown in. It's clear that this band have a lot to offer.
    Giving a taster of what to expect, the seven songs that Ellis played showed that the band have a vocalist who's actually capable of singing, along with musicians that know how to how to use their instruments to express themselves and give each song a good balance.
    When introducing the song Stalker the main vocalist tells of how it is about him and how the girl he stalked is standing at the front of the crowd. And for the song Here I Am he jokes about how being from a multi-racial background leaves him 'confused'.
    The fact that the band is made up by members of different races and having a girl on board also helps to show a broader multi-cultural society such as the one we live in.

Lenny Kravitz - Click to enlargeFrom the moment the multi-cultured, multi-talented Lenny Kravitz and his band step on stage it becomes clear that Lenny does have a presence, especially with the ladies in the audience. Starting off with the song Bank Robber Man (based on his famous run in with the Miami police), the excitement and screams escalate as Lenny moves closer towards the standing crowd.
    The funky Rock And Roll Is Dead follows, and whether Lenny is singing in a deep tone for Let Love Rule or a high pitch for Fields Of Joy he delivers an excellent performance.
    The live experience is worth seeing if only because of the full band which includes camp and funky guitarist Craig Ross, bassist Jack Daley and show-stealing female drummer Cindy Blackman. At one point, after performing American Woman, Cindy shows off her solo drumming skills for almost five minutes before going straight into Are You Gonna Go My Way.

For the encore part of the show Lenny and co. came back to finish the show with singles Again and Fly Away. Overall the show came across as very fulfilling, mainly due to the variety of musical styles combined which included R&B, blues, jazz and of course, rock.

:: Ben Lewis

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