Patti LaBelle Graces the Hollywood Bowl

Credit: Photographs of Patti LaBelle at The Hollywood Bowl provided courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

The iconic Patti LaBelle performed at the Hollywood Bowl last night with a Capella group Straight No Chaser opening. Straight No Chaser performed at the Hollywood Bowl back in 2016 opening for Weird Al Yankovic. The group formed at Indiana University in 1996 and upon graduating there would be a new group of students that would take their place and in 2012 the college version was renamed Another Round. In 2008 SNC would reform and have been touring and releasing albums since. This past December their Holiday tour stopped in Thousand Oaks, CA and on New Year's Day performed a Blues Brothers medley at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. The group still consists of four original members of their nine-piece lineup. SNC performed a 40 minute set including Yacht Rock classics like Christopher Cross’s “Ride Like the Wind,” Doobie Brothers’ “Taking it to the Streets” mashed with Martha Reeves’s “Dancin’ in the Street,” and closed with a medley of Toto’s “Hold the Line,” “I’ll Be Over You,” “Rosanna”, and “Africa.” There was also a mash-up of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Poison,” and a medley of Earth Wind and Fire’s “Sing a Song,” “Got to Get You into My Life” (Beatles Cover)” and “September.” SNC Will be at the Grove of Anaheim July 12th. Cross, Michael McDonald, and Earth Wind and Fire all played the Bowl in the last six years and Toto will be playing September 1st. 

On may 24th, LaBelle celebrated her 80th birthday and her career goes back to the 60’s with her group The Bluebelles and in the 70’s the group would become LaBelle and in 1977 she would begin a solo career with the release of her self-titled debut album. Between the Bluebelles and LaBelle nine albums were released before LaBelle went solo and a reunion album was released in 2008. In 1995 LaBelle performed at the Superbowl halftime show with Tony Bennett, Arturo Sandoval, and Miami Sound Machine.  As a solo artist LaBelle has released 19 albums and a 20th album titled 8065 will be released this year. It will be her first release in seven years and before that there was a 10 year gap between albums. Between 1977 and 2007 LaBelle released a new album every one to four years. 

LaBelle has been on tour since May and performed at the White House June 10th. LaBelle performed with around 25 musicians and back-up vocalists including strings, horns, keyboards, drums, bass, and guitar. It was a quite a different set than she played the night before at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, CA. This hour and 15 minute long set included “On My Own,” “You Are My Friend,” and “Over the Rainbow.” For “Lady Marmalade” which was part of the finale, LaBelle brought out four men from the audience to come out and sing and dance with her. The show closed with part of Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls.” LaBelle has 11  dates through December.