“I was so excited and so anxious. Every emotion you can think of was in my body.”
According to Billboard.com’s review however, the singer was in good form:
“Brandy kicked off the mainstage with a high-energy set that blasted through every single one of her hits (Full Moon, Best Friend, I Wanna Be Down, Sittin’ Up In My Room), a few fan favorites (Never Say Never opener Angel In Disguise, 2004’s Who Is She 2 U), a danceable tribute to her idol and mentor Whitney Houston and selections from her 2012 album Two Eleven.”
Brandy appeared in excellent shape, clad in a mostly sheer black lace and leather outfit that wouldn’t be out of place on a Janet Jackson tour – with flawlessly executed choreography from Frank Gaston to boot.
Jill Scott, who performed the previous evening at Philly’s 4th of July Jam was fresh-faced and prepared to give the audience her best. ‘Jilly from Philly’ had the “audience transfixed, nearly to the point of hypnosis”, according to HuffPost. But “the night belonged to Maxwell.”
Making his third appearance at Essence, Maxwell gave the thousands at New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome something to remember. Billboard.com added,
“Making a triumphant return to Essence, not to mention performing after cutting his 2012 tour short, Maxwell proved he knew exactly how to win over the ladies. Not just by giving them plenty of seductive falsetto — though there was plenty of that, most notably on his still spine-tingling cover of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work, which had the crowd practically melted into the concrete.”
Watch Maxwell’s virtual performance with Alicia Keys on their latest collaboration—Fire We Make: