Switch Excels at The Memorial AuditoriumEntertainment — By Buddy Sampson on December 1, 2011 at 9:48 am
November 26, 2011- In a night full of scintillating entertainment that featured some high-powered acts, Switch, led by Greg Williams, dominated the stage on a chilly Saturday night in Culver City.
Hosted by mega-media mogul Lee Bailey, the show opened with hip hop artist TrOyMaN. He would have perhaps been better served if he had a live band, but he appears to have a solid future ahead of him. He bought the audience to life and had the ladies yelling with a booty shake near the end of his set.
Chel’le, an exciting new artist, took the stage and she was marvelous. She thrilled the audience with a three song set. Admittedly nervous, Chel’le also sang to tracks, but you soon forgot about that as she captivated the audience with her strong voice. She got the party started and she was elegantly dressed-sexy, but classy. She is a future star.
SWV appeared next and it was a pleasure seeing them on stage. A favorite of the R&B movement of the 80s and 90s, SWV’s harmonies, strong vocal technique and stage presence made them an immediate crowd sensation. Their music took you back to the era of clubbing, dancing and fun. But they didn’t just perform their old hits. They covered a Patti LaBelle song, “If Only You Knew,” that is slated to be on their next project. Their beauty and amazing stage presence make them a “must see” if they come to your town. Although they sang to tracks, they were awesome.
Do you wonder what happened to ex Tower of Power singer, Lenny Williams? Well, he appeared on stage this night. His set had a traditional blues feel to it. Over the back drop of blues, Williams was able to showcase his pure vocal ability. For this writer, Williams was the only amazing singer of Tower of Power and his signature vocal style made them a true hit. He has a new CD that’s due to be released and be sure to tune in The Scoop LA to read an upcoming feature on him.
But the stage belonged to Switch this night. Led masterfully by keyboardist and songwriting giant Greg Williams, the band was funky, tight and their vocal harmonies were impeccable. They paid homage to their former lead singer Bobby DeBarge, who passed away in the 90s. Singer Akili did an amazing job interpreting his high pitched vocals. Switch had everything you like to see in a performance. They did many of their old hits, including “They’ll Never Be,” and many of the songs that made them a very special and unique group that seemed to just miss mega-stardom. They had a surprise appearance on stage by singer Bunny DeBarge that thrilled the audience. Look for new and exciting things from this fantastic group.
Backstage, R&B singer and artist Michel’le was seen, along with Rebbie Jackson(one of the younger Jacksons known from her hit ‘Centipede”) Hazel Gordy, daughter of music legend Berry Gordy and several other stars. Special thanks to Greg Williams for letting us get The Scoop!