India Arie. That’s it. That’s the tweet.
That is literally how I felt leaving her concert because this woman is a pure angel! She gave her audience an experience that I’m sure they’ll never forget, because I jot it down in my own journal to remember forever. But let me break it down for you so y’all have a better understanding of what I’m talking about.
On Thursday, May 23, 2019, India Arie blessed the Northern Lights Theatre at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for a concert to promote her new album titled, “Worthy.” Throughout the show she had me and the entire audience of black and beautiful shea butter babies captivated by her serene spirit, as we all connected as one for the evening.
We meditated. We laughed. We sang. We even prayed. It was amazing.
When India first came out she told us about the crazy travel she went through in order to get to us that night. She said, “I never wear jeans on stage. But I was like I can’t do it, I can’t pull a dress around, I don’t feel it. So I say all this to say, tonight is about to be unique. I don’t know what’s about to happen, but as long as y’all are here for it, I’m here for it.” Mannnnn she wasn’t lying! We definitely had a unique show, but all the imperfections made it perfect.
India told us that she wanted us to co-create a moment, she called it a “Songversation,” which is the power of words, music, visuals and vibrations to have an experience within ourselves and she came to help us have that experience, she said we’ll feel it. And we felt it. Songversation always begins and ends with a prayer, so to start off we sung together that we are one.
After we did our songversation prayer, she sang one of her favorite songs, “I am light.” Then you know she had to get us all warmed up and feeling special, so she did a few classic throwbacks like “Video” and “I am not my Hair,” which she then introduced her background singers Mayah Dyson and Gene Moore and gave them their time to shine. They were sooo good! When India performed my all time favorite song “Ready for Love,” things got a little emotional. She paid tribute to one of her great friends, Blue Miller, who recently passed away and had a montage of them together in the background as she played the flute and beautifully sang the song.
Two of the most important things to India are prayer and meditation, she gave us both during her show. There’s a song on her album called, “Hour of Love,” that talks about taking the time out of your day to give yourself self-care. Before she sang this song, she had us meditate with her...I have never seen an artist act in this manner lol. It felt great, though. She said, “Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening.” As one, we all brought our energy and attention to our bodies and relaxed. We took our tongues off the roofs of our mouths, we relaxed our faces, released our shoulders, got into a comfortable position and was just one with ourselves. Beautiful.
Behind her was a screen that showed powerful and positive quotes that would lead her into the next song she was going to sing. There were a few seats in the theatre that couldn’t see the screen, so she moved the people sitting there so they could get the full experience of her show. A few of the quotes read:
“Feel, Deal, Heal” tomorrow is a new day, we can choose again.”
“If you want to fly, you have to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
“Give up being perfect for being authentic. Be who you are, love who you are. Others will too.”
Sometimes there were technical difficulties with the screen, but it was okay because she was authentic about it. India wanted to premiere her new music video with us, “Steady Love,” and at first it was working. While they figured it out, she filled the time by introducing the rest of her band and sang other songs. I know that sounds like what any artist would do in a moment like that, but it was the way she carried herself during that time--calm, cool and collected. She didn’t stress over it, she just gave it time. When it finally started working again, she sat down right in front of the stage and watched in awe (probably because the co-star of the video was her celebrity crush, David Banner. Man was she in loveeeee lol). The audience went crazy for it! The chemistry they had together in the video was undeniable. We were the only show on the tour that she was going to show the video to. Remember, she told us earlier that our show was going to be unique!
Overall, India’s performance was magical. I left her concert feeling so much lighter. In the beginning, she told us the show was going to be healing and we were going to feel it. I felt all of it. From her positive words, to her down-to-earth personality and calming spirit. Like she said, lyrics are medicine, and we all were healed by the end lol.
Also, I just want to add that it had been a long time since I’d been around so many black women in one space, it felt good vibing to the same songs we all have different throwback memories with. This concert put it into perspective for me of what India represents for black women and our culture. She’s impactful. Her positive influence and the fact that she will always be unapologetically her is such an inspiration for black women young and old. It’s rare to see nowadays, since we live in a time where our value is determined by what we look like or others opinions. I can appreciate and truly stan a woman like India who drills into us that only we can define who we are and that every one of us is worthy. So shout out to India for the much needed #BlackGirlMagic.
Make sure you get India’s new album, Worthy!
/Carrie for CW