By the second song in her set last night, Lisa Stansfield wanted everybody to get up and dance…and it seemed like everybody wanted to, except for one problem. We were at the Keswick Theater. To paraphrase a meme, one does not simply “get up” at the Keswick. The typical audience at the Glenside venue is largely made up of subscribers to its full season of shows; they wish to remain seated as though at a high school assembly, and they vocally express that everyone around them do the same.
Luckily, Stansfield knew the score and sensed that we were kind of sitting against our will. Mid-way through a set of songs from her second album Real Love, many in the crowd gave her a standing ovation. “Stay standing!” she yelled gleefully and the rebellion began. But honestly, how can one sit through feel-good soul hits like “Change,” “Someday,” and “The Real Thing”?
Stansfield’s set visited mostly her first four albums, and her newest release, Deeper. The new material sounded great, particularly the playful “Butterflies,” and the empowering “Hercules.” Stansfield paced her catalog well, mixing the slow and the dance songs throughout so that the momentum was never lost. The show culminated in a disco party with many in the band picking up percussion instruments on smoking renditions of “Never Ever,” and her hit with Coldcut, “People Hold On.” Her band was tight and included an incredible, versatile two-piece horn and woodwind section.
When she finished her main set with “All Around the World,” the crowd began chanting her name until the encore. Congratulations, Lisa, you shook up the Keswick, and we loved every second.
Never, Never Gonna Give You Up
(Barry White cover)
Hole In My Heart
Make Love to Ya / Everything Will Get Better
Time to Make You Mine
Someday (I’m Coming Back)
You Can’t Deny It
The Real Thing
People Hold On
All Around the World
Live Together / Young Hearts Run Free (Candi Staton cover)
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