Musiq Soulchild has a pretty constant career, except for a few name-changes. Almost all of his singles receive a Grammy nomination, but he never ends up winning. His albums all reach the top 3 of the R&B Billboard charts, and all of his song titles are exactly one word long.1 Despite all of his experience, there’s one skill he clearly lacks: sound-checking.
Taking the stage, hiding his eyes behind big, black shades2, it immediately becomes clear that the sound is not ideal for Musiq’s smooth soul music. The bass and key’s are on an ear-damaging level. This, together with the pretty loud singing background singers, are the reason why Musiq Soulchild almost has to scream to be heard. With rappers or other types of music this might not be a really big problem, but with soul music you have to have your volume levels straight to set the right mood.
Nevertheless Musiq makes the best of it. He’s energetic, funny and goes back and
forth trough his catalog. The child of soul often points his microphone at the audience, but you can’t tell if they know the words to the songs or not. It’s impossible to make more noise without a mic than what’s coming out of the speakers. Even though Musiq Soulchild is originally from Philly, he reps another city during his show: Atlanta. Onmyradio is an uncharacteristic song from the singer, but it’s the only song that doesn’t suffer from poor sound-checking. The immense bass and Musiq’s raps make a good fit and the crowd immediately responds to it.
After 75 minutes Musiq leaves the stage and does not return. That means he won’t perform Sunny (Just Friends), one of his bigger hits. Kinda strange and it would have been a perfect encore. Instead of singing, he shows up in the lobby to take pictures with the fans. It’s a nice gesture from an artist who has multiple platinum records handed to him, but I’d rather have a concert with perfect -or at least good- sound.