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January 2005

By Tonisha Johnson

An Intimate Evening with Mary J. Blige - Live from the House of Blues

Starring: Mary J. Blige
Format: Color
Rated: NR
Studio: Bmg Distribution
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004




Classic Mary hits a crowd of 700, downtown L.A. at the famous House of Blues. From fan to star studded guests like P. Diddy, Jay Z, Lil Kim, Nick and Jessica Lachey. And a warm thank you to Ellen Degeneres for attending the event. Mary gave back 100% to the audience and the world over.

Surrounded by soft lighting, long draping curtains, a band and 3 back up singers; Mary J. Blige clad in leather knickers and a silky Olive green split sleeve blouse, filled the evening with ballads like Be Happy, My Life and Not Gon Cry. The Standing Room Only crowd sang every song eagerly, willing and emotionally. Mary recognized many a response by waving and crying herself. As the emotions from the music touched her soul, ripped thru the mic and floated over the audience.

Rocker Sting graces the stage to perform "Whenever I Say Your Name". Mary confesses Sting wrote this song with her in mind and Elton John finishes the night with "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues", which was an ultimate performance but a sad sign that the night was over.

Of course it wouldn't be a concert unless Mary once again made you shake and tremble when she sings, which was evident. As some audience members both male and female cried to each song as if she would never perform it again. And with each song it was present that the spectators could identify with the words.

The list of songs that Mary chose where in a story telling sequence. At times Mary took things personal when she sang "She Said It's Your Child" asking "daddy" where the fuck where you when he was touching me. Putting dead beat fathers and loser mothers on blast for not protecting their children.

Each song backed by a powerful performance made the audience feel Mary and her words. From beginning to end feelings of sadness, sorrow, triumph and kick him to the curb in "It's A Wrap" can only make women feel more understood and men more understanding of woman's issues.

She surely told the crowd "I'm just like you. I've been where you've been".

This DVD is a must for any Mary J. Blige aficionado.

17 songs in all and a bonus section, "The Day w/Mary" offers a look at the preparation behind the putting together of the show: from the selection of the singers to make up. The Queen of Hip Hop and R&B blesses the mic once again.