Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Photos by Ma'atology (IN ORDER OF EVENT)

Folk arriving for the Opening Act competition to see who will win the spot to perform as the opening act for singer Jill Scott at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre Aug 4

Two of the radio stations, Foxy and Majic, who were the media sponsors of the event.

A long view of the stage

DJ JP on the 1s and 2s playing his mixtape for the crowd.

Socialites Katrina Kerr, Larry and Becky Blue and attendee

The Budweiser Opening Act hosts were DJ Knuckles(the national host) and Hot 104.1 personality Janee Lashae

There were 10 finalists out of thousands who landed a spot to perform for the grand prize. Each act performed a cappella either Brian McKnight's "One Last Cry" or Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing." and then a song of their choice. Prior to performing, Jenee asked each contestant how they find out about the competition, if they had a Myspace or Twitter page and which song they were going to sing a cappella.

First up was Cafe Soul fave Andrew.

He performed "One Last Cry" and an original, "Perfect Setup"

OUR TAKE: great soulful voice, lacked stage presence and in need of a fashion style boost.

The crowd was receptive

Next was Cheri Evans

who hyped her band Cee Jazz Soul

She performed "Sweet Thing"
and the original, " I Wanna Love."

OUR TAKE: Nice voice, nice stage presence, her style of dress was club chic

The crowd was receptive.

Next was DeAndre Perryman

He performed "One Last Cry" and an original, "Because of You."

OUR TAKE: He has IT. Style, voice, stage presence, he really feels what he performs

A highlight was during his set he asked his fiance up onstage to.....

...ask her hand in marriage, She was very overwhelmed of the moment

...and showed her acceptance! LOL

Then he performed, "Because of You" and dedicated to his boo. Awwwwww.

The crowd of course ate it up

Next up was Erika Kane

She performed both "Sweet Thing" and Chrisette Michelle's "I'm Leavin" a ccapella.

OUR TAKE: Great styling, her voice was PITCHY; gave her "A" for battling her nerves and being a trooper from the challenges she had gone through .

The crowd cheered her despite her shortcomings.

Next was Mai Lee

She performed "One Last Cry" and an original, "Winner"

OUR TAKE: Great stage presence, her style was current and had some nice vocal runs ala Mariah.

The crowd was receptive and some of the guys gave her some cat calls.


They had a contest of a pair of tickets to the Budweiser Superfest on who can text to Jenee and Knuckles a hashtag on their Twitter a phrase involving the title of the event and their names which had to be spelked and tested correctly.

One of the two winners was singer Tiffany L

Then it was on to the next five contestants

Miss Kriss was up next

She performed "Sweet Thing" and Maze's "Before I Let You Go."

OUR TAKE:Nice styling, great stage presence, voice was on point but the song choice of the Maze classic was questionable.

The audience was receptive

Next was Monya

She performed "Sweet Thing" and Stephanie Mills' "Home"


She clowned all up in there performing!

She was in her own concert!

OUR TAKE: Monya has IT: stage presence, big voice, nice styling. She killed the stage!!!!!!!!!1

The audience gave her a standing ovation and a long cheer, the only time in the sh

Next was Shanetha

She performed "Sweet Thing" and Chrisette Michelle's "Blame it On Me."

OUR TAKE: It was hard following Monya but she did a respectable job--great voice but was a bit restrained but she made it up in her theatrics(a man walking up giving her flowers and she throws them up in the air landing on stage and taking off her ring) and stage persona of a Vegas chanteuse.

The audience was receptive

Next was Theresa Payne

She performed "One Last Cry" and an original a gospel song entitled, "Take Me"

OUR TAKE: She also has IT: great big voice, stage presence and her funky styling.

The audience immediately gave her a rousing applause with some giving her a standing ovation but not as overwhelming as Monya's was.

Next was Tish

She performed "Sweet Thing" and Shirley Murdock's "As We Lay."

OUR TAKE: We were surprised that her big voice was a bit restrained; her stage presence was a bit lacking and choice of style was a bit daring but it was passable.

The audience was very receptive of her performance with some giving her some cheers.


There's St Louis Post Pop critic Kevin Johnson who was one of the judges in the competition with Majic 104,9 exec Arrika Parr.

Cafe Soul co-creator Nichol Stevenson looks over her notes. She was another judge.

Is that DJ Cuddy (LEFT)on the floor gettin his slide on ? Yep! Next to him was cafe Soul co-creator"Live Nation employee Angie Brown and in the background on stage are (FROM LEFT) MySpacer and Opening Act organizer Miss Roslynn, Dj Knuckles, and Jenee

Miss Roslynn speaks to the crowd.

As the judges deliberated:

The crowd was given a 30 minute concert with Grammy Award nominated singer/musician Dwele.

He performed songs from his CD's "Subject," "Some Kinda" Sketches of a Man," and "W.ants W.orld W.omen" starting off with the tune, "What's Not to Love."

One of the several highlights was this young lady videotaping his set with her flip Blackberry and Dwele obliging her.

A long side stage shot of Dwele and the mosh pit area .

A back shot of Dwele performing in front of his fans.

Dwele also mentioned that he was the King of the Pick up Line and mentioned a few that night including going over to a young lady to have her feel his shirt and then he asked, :Do you know what kind of material that is?" Then the lady said NO and he replied, "Boyfriend material." He told the fellas in the crowd to be sure they credit him after they say the line

The ladies knew all the words to his songs.

Dwele got the Blackberry flip again recording himself performing.

He even filmed the crowd

Dwele in zoom mode

And his No 1 fan was more than happy of the attention she was getting.

His background singer JT also had a moment to shine performing Maze's "Before I let Go" But before he sang it Dwele said " I heard someone in the competition sang this already so you better bring it to them."

Another highlight was Dwele leaving the stage to perform throughout the crowd during his last song, "I'm Cheatin."

Dwele wanted to get up close and personal with the ladies in the crowd.

Dwele serenaded competitor Sheneatha.

He sat in the reserved area and sang to the table of patrons.

Arrika Parr and Angie Brown even got a bit of Dwele's adulation.


All 10 contestants were asked to join on stage for the results.

The Top Four were revealed and they were:

Monya, DeAndre Perryman, Theresa Payne and Mai Lee.

In FOURTH PLACE was...............................

Mai Lee who won MySpace recognition on the Budwesier Opening Act page.

Mai Lee was all smiles after she thanked her fans for supporting her and Theresa Payne looks on.

IN THIRD PLACE was.....................................

Deandre Perryman

Perryman thanked the crowd for his support and was happy that he was able to propose to his fiance. He won two tickets to the Budweiser Superfest concert.

THEN THE TOP TWO were left

Monya and Theresa

Knuckles said that the judges had a hard decision trying to choose the winner of the Opening Act contest.

The second place winner was going to receive tickets to the concert and an I Pod Station. Knuckles announced the winner who was....

Theresa Payne! She was overwhelmed from her name being called as second place winner Monya comforts her.

Both ladies embraced each other.

Knuckles thanked Monya for a great performance and asked for her to say something to the crowd.

Monya first thanked God and said that if one didnt have Jesus Christ in their life that it was time that they did so which got the crowd cheering her.

She then told Theresa that it was her time and that their were no losers tonite.

Payne in an emotional moment

Payne who received the Opening Act trophy as well as $5,000 and the opening spot on Jill Scott's Summer on the Block tour stop at the Verizon Wirelss Ampiheatre Aug 4 thanked all who supported her, but during her speech there were some boos from the crowd and she asked, "Am I being booed??? Well I cant please everybody."

Nevertheless, the cheers overshadowed the few boos in the crowd.

Payne said that she was torn at first of what song to sing but she said that she was led to follow her heart and perform a gospel song in a club which had the crowd cheer.

Payne the said, 'I'm going to represent you all well. Now I can talk all night if I dont get this mic out my hand but I am hungry and I gotta use the bathroom" which caused the crowd to laugh.

Payne was greeted by her supporters after she won.

Fellow competitor Deandre Perryman congratulated her.

More supporters.

NOTE: Overall this competition was well organized and received. It was an intersteing mix of contestants who performed and the judges chose the right ones for the four spots (It woulda been nice to have seen a tie with Miss Kriss who was the only one who actually got the crowd to participate during her set as though she was in concert). we were banking at Monya on winning (although her performance was a but showy) based on the crowd's response but from a report from an event insider, the vote could have gone to either her or Payne and the only deciding factor in Payne's favor was she performed an original song.


As far as Dwele's set , he was surprisingly more livlier, energetic and entertaining on stage and has shown more of his personality. He has developed into being a performer rather than just a smooth soul singer who performs with a keyboard.

Payne now advances to the National Opening Act competition with other regional winners to win 25,000.

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