Sunday, June 16, 2024

EUR Concert Review: Take 6 Gave Much More Than They Took + They Were Joined by Stevie Wonder! | WATCH

Take 6 - Photo:
Take 6 – Photo:

*Acapella group Take 6 made a rare Los Angeles appearance, and anyone lucky enough to be among the diverse audience to witness them perform at the beautiful Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis), in Beverly Hills (CA), on Saturday, March 23, can attest that Take 6 is deserving of the slew of Grammy (10), Dove (10), NAACP Image (2) and Soul Train awards they have received, as well as their induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

The virtuosic sextet, who have been around for nearly four decades, hit the ground running, all in white pants, but different jackets, with LTD’s “Back In Love Again,” and never looked back. The vocals were clear, crisp, harmonious, and melodious, the choreography was on point and the message that Take 6 came to bring it came through loud and clear, because they brought it, from start to encore to finish.

The setlist included Earth, Wind and Fire’s, “Got to Get You Into My Life,” “Spread Love,” Sting’s “Windmills of Your Mind,” and Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed.” After “Overjoyed,” we heard the story of being totally exhausted after a day of rehearsals and press obligations, only to be implored to take a picture with someone recently released from prison. Setting exhaustion and fatigue aside proved to be a good thing, because two years later, it was discovered that the ex-prisoner was the late Nelson Mandela. The crowd was told to look to our right and say, “Thank you, Game Changer,” and was then admonished, “If you treat everyone you meet as a game changer, you will never miss your opportunity.” The admonishment was capped off with, “Homeless,” which was dedicated to Mandela. Take 6 shared the members must vote on all songs included on their recording, with four votes needed. The next song they performed, Christopher Cross’ “Sailing,” received all six votes.

Take 6 is celebrating their new 2024 partnerships in Music Cares with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and as part of the campaign, they previewed snippets of two songs from their brand-new recording, “Rhapsody.” The songs, “Rhapsody in Blue” and “God Bless the Child,” are so new, that one of the members, Claude McKnight, (Brian’s big brother), needed to use his cell phone to recall the lyrics. The setlist also included, “Change the World,” and “Family of Love,” which was shared that it took 30 years to learn to live the lyrics to “Family of Love.” Yep, there was testifying going on.

There were a couple of surprises for the evening. One was a group from Uganda referred to as the Take 6 of Uganda, who were recognized and given a healthy applause. Take 6 also acknowledged the large number of musicians and industry people in attendance. The evening rounded out with “Stand By Me,” “Fly Away Home,” and Al Jarreau’s “Roof Garden.” We learned three dance moves to use on “Stand By Me,” and also that Al Jarreau was the first artist to bring Take 6 on tour.

Take 6 left the stage and returned for an encore with, Ambosia’s “You’re the Biggest Part of Me.” Afterward, the audience got up to leave and was told someone was coming out and to give them a minute. That someone was … drumroll … Stevie Wonder!

Cell phones came out like crazy, even though the audience was told of the no photo and no audio policy beforehand. Not to worry, we were told to take out our phones and record it. Oh well, a little late, but whatever works. Stevie spoke of the message in his song being as relevant today as it was the day he wrote it. The song he was referring to was, “Love’s in Need of Love Today,” which he sang with Take 6, much to the audience’s delight.

The entire night can only be described as magical. Someone said it was one of the best concerts he had ever attended. Praise does not get much higher.

Take 6 shared they will be doing a lot with St. Jude, and to keep up with their website for information.

Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley, collectively known as Take 6, owe Los Angeles nothing!

Marilyn Smith is a Los Angeles-based writer/reviewer. Contact her via [email protected]

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