Only a handful of entertainers actually sound better live. Detroiters at the Chene Park Amphitheatre were blessed with two when Kem and Lalah Hathaway served up summertime soul to a sold-out crowd. Listeners on land and sea enjoyed an evening of soothing sounds and occasional laughs on the riverfront.
YouTube teen sensation Cam Anthony opened the show with his bold, honey coated vocals. Reminiscent of a young Usher, he performed a Sam Cooke cover and his original song, “How Can I Forgive.” Signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, this 14-year-old prodigy is poised to change the R&B game.
Lalah Hathaway gave the audience their entire life with her mellifluous voice. Crowd favorites included her unique delivery of Anita Baker’s “Angel” and Luther Vandross’ “Forever, for Always, for Love.” She flashed a piece of her jazzy side when she scatted on the mic, showcasing the versatility we crave from her. The soul maven continues to uphold her father’s legacy.
Surrounded by a white-hot backdrop, the incomparable Kem was welcomed back home with much love as he gave a dynamic performance, with tributes to Prince and David Bowie — and a stroll into the audience. “There’s no place I’d rather be than here with you,” he said. The singer-songwriter schooled the fellas and slayed the ladies with his sensual melodies. He serenaded his fans with hits like “Love Calls,” “Heaven,” “Can’t Stop Loving You,” “You’re on my Mind” and “Promise To Love” among others. The mood was euphoric, even resulting in a sweet marriage proposal. Kem humbly offered to perform at the lucky couple’s nuptials.”Utilizing our gifts is the closest thing to heaven on Earth,” he said.
Continuing his efforts to support Flint residents, Kem presented the Salvation Army with a $40,000 donation. Check out some moments from the fantastic event.
Photos by Raquelle Harris for Steed Media