Patrons at Molly Malone’s Saturday night got a nice bonus, thanks to a cancellation and some rescheduling: the nationally recognized R&B singer Lily Elise rocked them out at the coveted 10:45 pm slot. Lily Elise, best known for being coached by pop icon Christina Aguilera on NBC’s The Voice, is a powerful R&B vocalist who can hit the high notes with ease and belt the blues with best of the blues queens of any era. And she did both to the delight of a house full of dancing fans.
Lily Elise got things going right off the bat with “Dance with Somebody”, the George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam song made famous by Whiney Houston on her first album. She carried it off with her own high energy style that got everyone moving and brought cheers from the floor. She followed with “Kaleidoscope” and “Crash”, each one showcasing her powerful voice and her ability to connect with an audience. When she move into her trademark “Lock and Key”, featured on her YouTube video , she toned the energy down a bit while she focused on soaring with the lyrics, keeping the people on the floor in front her swaying and singing. She kept it up for nine more songs, each one high energy and delivering on her vocal range, while she looked relaxed and happy in front of her fans.
Because of the short notice, Lily was not able to bring her own band together for the gig, so the show was not quite as tight as it was in her last appearance at The Snug in Molly Malones, but she did assemble a great team who supported her incredible voice with rock solid rock and roll.
Lily Elise can check off the critical boxes of a music performer: talent, voice, audience connection and stage presence. Her singing echoes Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Maria Carey or Pattie Labelle – queens of R&B – but her arrangements occasionally seemed to shy away from using all of her power and range when she shifted to pop. At times she seemed like a world class R&B and blues singers trapped in a pop genre. But, regardless as a live performer, she is hard to beat.
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