Thursday is a tough night of the week. It’s not quite the weekend so you can’t “turn up” the way you would on a Friday night, but it’s still close enough that you may want to indulge in some alcohol, awesome food and music…right?
Last Thursday I found myself in Harlem at the popular Dinosaur BBQ, but I wasn’t there for the ribs (which are BOMB btw.) I was there for a new R&B showcase called The SoulCave, a show that promised to deliver great R&B performances by NYC’s most talented up and comers. Let me tell you, oh boy did they deliver.
The show kicked off with a Beyoncé medley of “Drunk in Love” and “I Don’t Know Why he Loves Me” sung by the host songstress Ali Caldwell. I’ve seen Ali perform at Sunday Evening Serenade and fell in love with her voice then, but nothing compares to the SANGING she did throughout the night at The SoulCave. To be honest, I love queen Bey as much as the next person but, Ali sang her songs and owned them, giving Mrs. Carter a serious run for her money.
Passing the mic over to the fellas, Bronx native Gaetano (@g_got_soul) , warmed the ladies up (yes, pun intended) with a cover of Maxwell’s “How Does It Feel”. I commend any person that ever attempts this classic but Gaetano came, saw and conquered with this one. Judging by the reactions of the ladies in the audience, it felt good.
Next up was BET Music Matters artist Steve Lovell. Now, let me explain. Steve Lovell has the uncanny ability to make people feel every possible emotion with one of his iconic falsettos so I expected a killer performance, but I don’t think the audience was prepared for what happened here. After singing his original song “It’ll Be Ok”, Lovell received a standing ovation and a request for an encore. Jumping back on stage he showed out with a cover of “Say Yes” by Floetry.
Following Steve Lovell was a Brooklyn songstress by the name of Taneka Symone. Symone went on stage as a surprise to the audience as she wasn’t announced as a feature at the event but what a pleasant surprise it was. “She’s got swag” said an onlooker as he pointed out her all white outfit and gold sneakers. What came next wasn’t expected from her pint sized frame. Covering Rihanna’s “We All Want Love” followed by a captivating rendition of “Crazy” by Cee-Lo, Tanekas voice forced almost everyone seated to stand and cheer her on.
Last but not least was Kola Rai. Familiar with her from the Deans List Tour, Kola’s voice is powerful beyond belief, and I was excited to see what she’d be doing. Inspired by a recent performance by Ledisi, Kola opened up with up with “” and further shocked the already enamored audience with “I Will Always Love You” by the great Whitney Houston, a performance I’m sure was touched by the angel herself.
If you can’t tell, I had an amazing time at The SoulCave. Such a great time that every artist that perform will be here on TheTakeOvah this week so you can learn more about them! While R&B shows are quickly regaining popularity in NYC, The SoulCave has the potential to set the new standard and is certainly the show to watch out for. I’ll certainly be at the next one.