At this point in the game, the musicians in the Robert Glasper Experiment don’t really need formal introductions. The Grammy Award-winning band members– Robert Glasper (keys), Casey Benjamin (synths, vocoder, sax), Derrick Hodge (bass), and Mark Colenburg (drums)– are names that inspire long, overdrawn, geek-out sessions between audiences and musicians, alike. On a very rainy night, the Rob G. Experiment took the stage at Midtown Manhattan’s Beacon Theater this past Wednesday, April 30th. The band’s NYC appearance directly followed their recent performances in Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall and Pittsburgh’s August Wilson Center as part of “The Truth Tour” with Ledisi.

The Truth Tour

Photo Credit: Really Nathan

At the Beacon show, the quartet opened up with Jay-Z’s and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild”. The selection eased some audience members who weren’t so familiar with the band. The group then transitioned to Black Radio 2’sBig Girl Body,” which featured a lengthy solo from Stutz McGee, aka Casey Benjamin. The Experiment rocked another cover with their rendition of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” that was followed by a GlasperXColenburg duo a la Mehliana (Glaspenburg anyone?).

The Truth Tour

Photo Credit: Really Nathan

Glasper’s assault on the Rhodes then segued into another track from Black Radio 2, Let It Ride.” The BR2 track ended with a Colenburg solo that had Beacon Theater on its feet. An unaccompanied bass solo from Derrick Hodge brought the energy back down as the Blue Note recording artist flashed his chops and showed why Maxwell chose him to be his musical director. Hodge’s intimate solo then morphed into the band’s interpretation of Bill Wither’s classic track, “Lovely Day.” The Robert Glasper Experiment’s night ended with a medley that consisted of the first Black Radio’s Ah Yeah,” Joe’s “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do), and Black Radio 2’s Calls.”

While the medley signaled the end of the night for Benjamin, Hodge, and Colenburg, Glasper hit the stage again with “The Truth Tour’s” headlining act, Ledisi, to perform their Grammy-nominated hit, “Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B).” Glasper had this to say about the tour and its headliner:

 “I’ve been rocking with Led since 2005. She’s one of the most talented, laid back, honest artists I’ve ever worked with. We have so much fun together. [It’s] been great [to] be on the Ledisi tour and [to] introduce each other to our fans, and in return gain more fans!”

The Truth Tour

Photo Credit: Really Nathan

Be on the lookout in your city for “The Truth Tour” with Ledisi and Robert Glasper. Upcoming concert dates are listed below:

May 2 – Chrysler Hall. Norfolk, VA
May 3 – DAR Constitution Hall. Washington, DC
May 4 – Pier Six Concert Pavillion. Baltimore, MD
May 6 – Durham Performing Arts Center. Durham, NC
May 8 – The Fillmore Charlotte. Charlotte, NC
May 9 – Chastain Park Amphitheatre. Atlanta, GA
May 14 – Majestic Theater Dallas. Dallas, TX
May 16 –Bayou Music Center. Houston TX
May 23 – House of Blues Las Vegas. Las Vegas, NV
May 25 – Woodlake Hotel. Sacramento, CA.

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