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Event Review: The Experience Music Project
By Sirion "The Industry Insider" Sewell
(more articles from this author)
2003-10-06
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The Experience Music Project was filled to capacity with hundreds of sweating, screaming fans waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite artists. Celebrity videos reaffirming the need to protect one’s self against HIV/AIDS from artists like Salt ‘N’ Pepa and TLC and amusing AIDS Awareness commercials made us think seriously about the real possibilities of contracting AIDS. MTV made sure that the point of the concert came across to all in attendance.

Wow, what a great show! We had some hot guitar playing mixed with some riled up freaks workin’ it. What am I talking about? Only the coolest concert to hit Seattle in months. The lineup included the humorous Dave Matthews, the ever-sweet Michelle Branch, and the wildly insane Missy Elliott.

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The show started off with sex-Ed music video clips and was hosted by Jackie and Bender from KISS106’s infamous morning show. They kept the crowd in line and focused on the issue of the event.

Michelle Branch was up first. She rocked the stage, performing behind a large puzzle pieced red AIDS ribbon. She was fierce with her guitar and vocals. The 19-year-old Branch performed hits from her current platinum plus debut album, Spirit Room. Dressed in the normal teenage attire - white tank top, blue jeans and boots, Michelle strummed away on here guitar, making beautiful music for the crowd to hear and feel. She brought with her a full live band to back her up and together they belted out jams onto the 30 x 50foot screen at E.M.P. During the middle of her set, Michelle gave a brief speech on the necessity of protecting yourself when having sex. Michelle kept on jamming away until it was Dave’s turn. Her contribution to the show made it somewhat magical and left us mystified.

A little tipsy but always humorous, Dave Matthews was up next. Before entering the stage, the crowd clapped, whistled and cheered in unison, “Dave, Dave, Dave…!” It was Dave Matthews all alone, with out his band but with his guitar and microphone in hand. He took control of the stage. Onlookers went absolutely crazy for Matthews. Before, during and after his set, he mentioned that he had a little too much wine to drink and began telling us little funny side jokes to get us to loosen up and in the mood. Dave serenaded us into a calm and drowsy, melodic state with the four or so songs that he played. He also amazed us with his high vocal range on one particular song. During “Crash In To Me”, the video played simultaneously on TVs on the stage and the digital screen, which added to the already soft and pleasant mood of the crowd. This was a new sound for many of the teens in the audience, but from what they saw and experienced, they noticed that Dave was really sincere, talented and funny.

Last, but certainly not least, was the star of the show. The wacky and innovative Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott came to get her freak on. Missy and her crew: DJ and producer Rockwilder, her dancers, and hype-man, worked it out on stage in their matching yellow and black Adidas velour suits and Kangol hats. While performing chart topping hits like, “She’s A Bitch”, “Get Ur Freak On”, and “Work It”, her dancers, both male, female and kids, showcased their undeniable and remarkable skills.

Missy made sure that we knew to protect ourselves from diseases. So to ensure that, she threw out condoms and t-shirts that read “If you get ur freak on, make sure u work it with a condom” into the audience. Missy also dedicated a portion of her show to everyone who knew someone who passed on. She played Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat” while the audience held up lighters, cell phones and 2ways in the air, to signify their love for the lost. Missy then gave us another hot encore performance of “Get ur Freak on” and “Work It.” It’s very rare when you see Missy Elliott perform and she did only as Missy could do. The crowd ate her up like candy. This was a wild and energetic performance that left everyone wanting more and not wanting Missy to go but her time was up. In fact, it was up 30 minutes prior to her leaving. So she had to say goodbye and leave us. But the memories from the show and the AIDS Awareness will stick with us forever. This was yet another a great event with an even greater cause.


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