Sound and the Fury
Independent Women, Inc.
The vaunted Ladies First tour hit SBC Center on March 17, and even if you ignored the intermittent evidence of musical substance, you had to be impressed by the advertising muscle on display. Upon entering the arena, you were quickly confronted with a L'Oreal booth - a reminder that show headliner Beyoncé is a spokeswoman for the cosmetics company - where sales reps discussed hair dyes with the attendees. Also, Steve Madden posters were everywhere at the event, and a spokesman for the clunky-shoe peddlers even took the mic between sets for a brief, rather inept sales pitch that was roundly ignored by the amped-up crowd.
Finally, Beyoncé not only made a point of invoking corporate sponsor Verizon when she asked the obligatory "Are you enjoying the show?" question, she also exited the stage with this post-goodbye product plug: "New Destiny's Child album out in December."
The show itself featured a brief, but enjoyably rowdy set by Missy Elliott, a surprisingly potent performance by Alicia Keys (whose vocal strength and showmanship exceeded all expectations), and a dance-crazy, costume-change extravaganza from Beyoncé. The night's emotional highlight also qualified as the most embarrassing moment. Completing a trilogy of Destiny's Child songs with "Survivor," Miss B welcomed groupmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams to the stage. The DC reunion received a thunderous roar, which swiftly turned into a mix of gasps and sheepish giggles when Williams took an ugly swan dive off the stage-left ramp at the end of the song and hit the floor with a thud. Being a true survivor, she swiftly made it to her feet.
Local Releases and Shows
Veteran industrial-metal band Pitbull Daycare, mainstays of the local scene for several years, will see its latest album, Unclean, hit the stores on Tuesday, March 30. Last December, the group signed with the LA-based label Cleopatra Records, and Unclean marks their first release with Cleopatra. Pitbull Daycare celebrates the CD's release on Saturday, April 3 with a show at White Rabbit.
Look for the John Pizzarelli Trio at Luna Fine Music Club on Wednesday, March 31. The jazz combo will play shows at 7 and 9 p.m. Call 366-0705 for ticket info. •