Erykah Badu graced Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with nearly 16,000 filled seats, bringing her Unfollow Me Tour to a near end. Known for her eclectic style and appreciation for her heritage, Badu brings inspiration, a heavy soul, and the reminder to respect one another. This year, her Unfollow Me Tour had emphasis on teaching people to follow one’s own path and flight, as many have experienced a range of battles these past few years; plus social media on top of it all. The arena was filled with all aged excited people dressed to the nines, families with their children, and grandparents. Because of her smooth and soulful vocal style that has earned critical acclaim, it is not surprising she has such a dedicated fan base.
Badu entered the stage with a headpiece and danced until she entered center stage. Once she got settled, she pulled out a tea kettle, pouring herself a hot cup of tea. Erykah Badu has a strong connection to her African roots and this influence is often evident in her performances where she incorporates African dance and other cultural elements into her show. Her ability to blend different genres, from R&B and soul to jazz and hip-hop, creates an immersive and captivating experience for her audience. Badu brought the vibes and atmosphere through and through.
Her conscious lyrics tend to touch on themes like self-empowerment, spirituality, love, relationships, and social issues. The lights were a show in itself, as they danced around her, represented lasers at some moments, and a beam surrounder her, sending her to another realm. Knowing that Badu played a significant role in popularizing the new-soul genre mostly in the 90’s and 2000’s, it was heartwarming to hear and see such a range of people attending.
Throughout her set, she had the crowd cheer from which decade they were born in, allowing us all to feel the impact her musical craft has on people. She played famous songs like, “On & On,” “To Each His Own,” and “Window Seat.” The people were ecstatic from each inch of music she gave. Plus paused the set a few times, showing the testament her band has to reading her and keeping up. Her band was strong and had harmonies that felt like seeing color for the very first time.
Erykah Badu has become an icon for her uniqueness but on top of it all, showing others our uniqueness is what makes us beautiful. A Badu performance is an honor and privilege to attend in any city. Her music word and taste will inspire many generations to come.