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Benet makes magic

Eric Benet
The Fox Theatre
Tucson, AZ
March 7, 2019
Eric Benet Eric Benet

Review and photos by Frances Sealy

The Tucson Urban League sponsored an appearance by Eric Benet as a part of their "An Evening in Black and White" fundraising event. The evening was a blend of music and award ceremony.

The mission of the Tucson Urban League is to advance the economic and social prosperity for African Americans and other underserved Tucson residents by creating access to opportunity.

Eric Benet performed a short set of his best-known hit songs. The cool, calm and collected R & B singer has changed his look over the years, but his authenticity in delivering a song has remained steadfast. His 50 plus years have left the singer fit and fine. The four-time Grammy Award nominee still keeps his shows all about the music.

Benet credits his longevity to having complete autonomy with his music and only performing music that made him "fall in love with music all over again." Quoting Benet, "I feel like I'm just getting started." This is certainly demonstrated during Benet's performance.

Benet's songs like "Femininity," "Georgy Porgy," and "Love of My Own" sound as good today as they did 20 years ago much like D'Angelo's or Michael Jackson's music. His songs possess an unadulterated sex appeal.

Benet has to be one of the most underrated R & B singers around. The singer demonstrated his falsetto as he moved in and out of his high range effortlessly. He is in a class inhabited by Prince, Eddie Kendricks, Brian McKnight, Robin Thicke, Barry Gibb and Al Green. If you have any doubt, take a listen to "Sometimes I Cry." His music is smooth.

Benet spoke of how he was particularly proud of his song "Spend My Life With You." He knew when he recorded the song that it would be his number one hit record. This song was recorded as a duet with Tamia as Benet felt it needed a female vocal in addition to his vocal during the recording session. However, during this performance, Benet took on both the male and the female parts since Tamia was not present.

"Spend My Life With You" is almost as difficult to sing as the national anthem, Benet has that vocal arsenal to sing it well. Twenty years after release, the song is still being played and performed at weddings and bedrooms worldwide.

Benet has the voice and the charisma to make a show a magical experience.
Set list:
1. Love Don't Love Me
2. Chocolate Legs
3. You're the Only One
4. Spend My Life With You
5. Sometimes I Cry
6. Georgy Porgy
Eric Benet Eric Benet Eric Benet

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