Turquoise and blue neon concert lights circled audience members as they waited for Alicia Keys to take the stage to perform Friday night at Rodeo Houston’s Black Heritage Night. Within moments, the wait was over, as Keys appeared in a rodeo-festive black leather vest and silver belt buckle before opening with her feel good hit “Karma.”
In her sophomore Rodeo Houston performance, Keys sat down to her black Yamaha piano and took an audience of more than 73,000 ticket holders on a musical throwback journey and celebration of some of her most inspirational songs. The talented singer set a paid rodeo attendance record in her debut Black Heritage Night performance in 2005 drawing a crowd of 72,065.
From “28 Thousand Days” and “You Don’t Know My Name” to the catchy, “Unbreakable,” Keys entertained concert-goers with a mix of ballads and upbeat hits throughout the night.
Keys’ balmy but commanding voice swept through the stadium as she sang unifying tunes from her latest album, including “Work On It” and “Blended Family” which spoke to her personal experiences with her stepchild and his mother.
As she incorporated the fun sounds of “In Common” and the acoustic harmonies of “If I Ain’t Got You” into her performance, cell phones quickly began to light up and concert-goers began to sway side to side as they bonded in a moment of musical solidarity.
Of course she did not forget to mesmerize the audience with her soulful debut track “Fallin.” It was only befitting that she teased the crowd with just the keys before singing the tantalizing hit.
Before closing out the night, Keys took the audience back in time with her vivacious 2012 hit, “Girl On Fire” and one of the most popular New York City themed anthem “Empire State of Mind.”
Keys proved that her set was energetic enough to captivate the audience and bring us into her world of musical genius.
Leading up to her performance at the Rodeo, the socially conscious singer encouraged women at the Women’s March on Washington to continue speaking out for change and against all facets of inequality.