Sure, it was only a Tuesday night, but you'd think soul traditionalist sensation Alicia Keys would still sell out the Orpheum theater.
Come on, she tied a record by winning five Grammies, all this year, and she's just 21.
Her debut and Grammy-winning record (Best R&B Album), "Songs in A Minor," was a No. 1 disc. Yet Keys played to a house only two-thirds full.
No matter, though. Keys still put on a fine show.
Whether it was worth $50, well, that could depend on your tax bracket.
Keys is an amazing talent with spine-tingling skills, and a deserving winner of the best new artist Grammy.
Her show features a DJ, a horn section, backup singers, bass, guitar and a couple of keyboardists.
It also featured costume changes, dance segments and an intermission that showcased the DJ and backup band cutting heads, while Keys was backstage.
Keys played the songs the audience wanted (with just one album, it's hard not to).
As expected, the song that dominated radio all last summer, Keys's triple-Grammy single Fallin' (best song, R&B song and female R&B vocal performance), came very late in the show.
Crowd-dazzling showmanship came during How Come You Don't Call Me.
At the beginning of the song, a telephone booth was wheeled onstage. Throughout the ballad, Keys matched sensual music with pining lyrics for a man who doesn't call.
At the end, Keys got up from her electric piano, walked to the telephone booth and dialed.
Rrring, rrring, rrring, rrring, rrring, rrring.
(Male voice) Hello?
(Crowd) Applause, cheering and much general excitement.
The best work in the show, other than the fantastic chops her band showed-off during the head-cutting break, was when Keys was alone on the stage in front of a dark curtain, sitting and playing her grand piano.
Which was the scene the world fell for, watching her perform at the Grammys.
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