Material: Terron Brooks had a daunting task ahead of him when he took on “Soul of Broadway”; naturally, when looking over the setlist, there were some huge successes and a less than equal number of misses. “Tomorrow” proved to be a glorious enhancement of a 40-year-old song, a new arrangement with just enough similar pieces to feel familiar but with refreshing new melody choices. “Not While I’m Around” also took a delightful new form. But “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “The Music of the Night” lost some of their old charm in the translation. Overwhelmingly, however, the material was very impressive.
Musicianship: The band and backup singers did an impeccable job. Brooks was pitch perfect the entire evening. Toward the end of the evening, the band performed the Gershwin classic “Summertime” with each member of the band receiving their moment in the spotlight. The background singers showed their skill during “History Has Its Eyes On You,” with tight and clear harmony. And Brooks himself shone during each song, giving goosebumps and even tears to members of the audience.
Performance: Brooks easily engaged his audience for the entire set. He told stories, gave life lessons and sang like his life depended on it. Every member of this act was top-notch. The multiple costume changes were delightful instead of distracting. Brooks and his band were naturals on stage, true professionals providing their unique performance to a thrilled audience. The setlist was organic and smooth, with no unnatural lulls or too much energy in odd places. Love and care went into every facet of this performance.
Summary: This act could easily be recommended to any person who enjoys live theater or soul music. It touched Motown, traditional pop music, Broadway music and just music in general. This show opens doors that may not have occurred to the listener when they took their seat. It was thrilling to see children in the audience who would no doubt grow up with a love of music in all of its forms. This material is exciting and to hear even more than what was offered at this performance, perhaps as a continuing act, would do the music world some good.
Players: Terron Brooks, vocals; Mark Vogel, piano; Adam Michaelson, keys; Simba Scott, bass; Zach Fenske, electric guitar; Gustin Flaig, drums; Rhett George, Natalie Wachen and Fredericka Meek, background vocals