Some voices can just fill a room. Backed by the Cannabinoids’ DJs, keyboards and drummer, Erykah Badu’s legendary voice packed out all four corners of Seattle’s historied Paramount Theater as part of the 2012 Decibel Festival. Flawlessly transitioning from tear-inducing falsetto to striking raps to hints of pure rock, the “experiment” tag that has been inseparable from the Cannabinoid x Badu partnership was evident, but more in expanding ways to showcase Erykah’s vocal blessings than an abandonment of the soulful blueprint of her career.
Highlighted by their take on SBTRKT’s “Wildfire”, which had the thought of an Erykah Badu and Yukimi duet holding my mind captive, the crowd two-stepped in a trance and hung on every word, despite the majority lacking any knowledge of a single lyric throughout the night.
Erykah doesn’t move much on stage, but that doesn’t take away from the energy in the room, as the vibe was set from the second she emerged on stage donning black from head to toe, with gold snake-like bracelets grappling the mic and the audience. Commanding attention from the start, all eyes remained on the stage for over an hour and a half of pure, unadulterated soul and bliss.