Scenes From Friday's Sound Select Kickoff with Erykah Badu, Larry g(EE) and Dustin Cavazos.
Pretty much every Erykah Badu performance feels special.
That's not a huge or world-changing reveal in the slightest, no. It's but one of the many reasons Badu is such a revered figure in this town and beyond (see: The BET Awards from earlier this month, where the only acts to twice perform during that broadcast were Badu and Kendrick Lamar, who even performed together at one point).
Nonetheless, Badu's headlining performance at the Prophet Bar on Friday night, which kicked off the new monthly Red Bull Sound Select Series around town, felt — somehow — even more special than usual.
That's not just some homerism due to our own involvement in the show — swear. Consider the following: After kicking off her set at near one o'clock in the morning, Badu offered up an unfettered 90-minute performance that ran until well past the venue's stated 2 a.m. closing time; and she spent the final minutes of said performance literally gliding above her in-awe audience, her face plastered with an ear-to-ear grin as her body was gently passed around the room by her crowd, which shrieked with glee when Badu, already having waved more than a few goodnight waves to her audience, embraced the moment and dove onto her fans' outstretched hands.
It was a beautiful moment. I don't know how else to describe it. And it was a great end to a great night-long bash.
Earlier in the night, Dustin Cavazos kicked things off with a set that largely centered around his newer material, followed by Larry g(EE)'s always cathartic soul revival offerings. Badu's own live production crew and backing band The Cannabinoids followed, doing their live beat-making thing on-stage, as expected. But their set, too, which served as more of a standalone than the usual ramp-up to Badu that we've seen in the past, featured a surprise, as local emcee -topic joined the group on stage for a brief offering of his own, well-deserving material.
The whole idea of this night, as we've stated before, was to showcase the best that Dallas has to offer. In the end, the Prophet Bar crowd got that. More, too.
Friday was a showcase of the devil-may-care attitude that Dallas flashes when it's at its best. For at least one night in Deep Ellum, rules were cast aside and convention was altogether ditched — and all in the name of a celebration of all things local.
It was a one-of-a-kind night.
But, hell, if we can't, then whatever. This one night alone was worth it.