Story and photos
by Michael Mitchell
The group New Edition brought their 40th Legacy Tour to Cincinnati’s Heritage Bank Center on March 26 before a sold out crowd. The concert began with recording artists Tank who hit the stage and got the crown in the mood by taking off his shirt to his bare skin. Tank’s show lasted 25 minutes in what turned out be one of his best performances in Cincinnati.
But when Guy hit the stage, the party started for real, as producer/musician Teddy Riley and Brothers Aaron and Damion Hall kept the audience on their feet singing as if they were Guy’s background singers.
Guy covered 15 songs from their playlist from “Good Bye Baby,” “Jam,” “Let’s Chill,” to the “New Jack Swing.” The energy of their background dances were a great use the the large stage. With each member moving to the side of the stage, the audience has opportunities to snap photos.
The Harlem, New York, group founded in 1987, makes me wonder why “what if” they had stayed together, as Guy broke for the second time in 1990. They could have been one of the greatest groups of all time.
The “Sweater” Keith Stewart followed a tough act, but this crowd welcomed him as one of their favorites.
Sweater came on with up beat hits like “I Want Her” and “Make You Sweat.”
At times the party slowed down with love ballads, such as “I’ll Give All Of My Love To You,” and “Make It Last Forever.” These served the love birds, who were cuddled up in the audience.
Teddy Riley reappeared, performing songs from his “New Jack Swing” LP, with Keith Sweat joining him and the crowd taking to the aisles. This performance received a standing ovation.
As Teddy Riley said, “This party ain’t over,” and it wasn’t. With flashing lights and the music of their five-piece band, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill, Michael Bivins and Bobby Brown appeared from beneath the stage dressed in long, red coats, red hats, black sequined pants and black shirts and broke into one of their early hits, “If It Isn’t Love.” The original members came back to join Bobby to perform his 1990 release, “My, My, My.” Bell, Bis and Defoe also had their shot performing the 1989 hit, “Poison.”
The highlight of the light show for me was Ralph Tresvant serenading a young girl.
So, even after going their separate ways for 40 years,
New Edition’s music continues to let us see how great they were then and now.