Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown L.A.

Everyone's favorite "Uncle” Charlie Wilson performed at the Microsoft Theater in downtown L.A. on Feb. 9. The tour titled "In It To Win It” comes from the title of Wilson's latest album. As a solo artist Wilson has had 8 No. 1's on the Urban Chart, two No. 1 albums on the U.S. R&B chart, and his most recent release went to No. 2 on the R&B chart. With 11 Grammy nominations, 3 NAACP Image Awards, lifetime achievement/ icon awards from BET, BMI, Soul Train, and being Billboard's No. 1 Adult R&B artist of 2009, Charlie Wilson has become a major R&B Icon and legend. As a member of the GAP band for 43 years with his brothers, Wilson made some of the biggest hits in Funk/R&B. During the show, Wilson performed some of their classics along with solo hits and new songs. Joining Wilson for this very special show was another R&B legend Keith Sweat.

Before Sweat hit the stage a video montage of various TV performances throughout his career was shown with the last one being Don Cornelius announcing him on Soul Train, which he was a guest on several times and received the Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Sweat opened the show with “Something Just Ain’t Right,” and performed songs including “Just Got Paid,” “Twisted,” and “Freak Me.” For one part of his performance, he brought a couple up from the audience to sit on a couch onstage and sing to them. Sweat’s performance was a total of 45 minutes.

As with any major star like Charlie Wilson, a major entrance is essential. The show started off with “Party Train,” with Wilson's 4 backing dancers in matching sequin outfits of different colors came out and started the train as Wilson jumped in and the lights went bright. This is when the party started. By the 2nd song “Early In The Morning” the audience was really on their feet and the floor turned into a dance floor. The show had just as much groove, funk, and energy as one would expect at a Charlie Wilson show. Charlie Wilson always gives it 110% too. There was even a part of the show where Wilson’s three horn players came in the audience.

The band wore matching suits and bow-ties as the backing dancers had matching outfits of different costumes. One highlight was their light-up outfits and Wilson's light-up suit that was rainbow colored as the stage lights went off. The outfits seemed to be Michael Jackson inspired also in one song there was a snippet from "Smooth Criminal." Of course, the lighting also played a big part of the show and most importantly a funky and tight band perfect for Charlie Wilson. For two hours Wilson had the audience up and dancing with the exception of a few slower songs. There were times where the focus was on the band to allow for wardrobe changes and the band certainly doesn't disappoint. A few songs performed throughout the night were "Charlie, Last Name Wilson," “Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me),” “I’m Blessed,” and “Outstanding.” Sweat also joined Wilson onstage for one song.