Southern Girl Event Review-The Park Unplugged

Ryan Leslie

Imagine being at a performance of one of your favorite musical artists.  You’re standing right in front of the stage and singing along with the artist (and the rest of the audience).  As you look around the venue and continue singing, you all of a sudden feel hands on your chin.  When you turn, you see the artist has gotten your attention by moving your face towards his, is looking you in the eye, and is singing to you.

That’s exactly what happened to me on Friday.  As I was singing “Addicted” and jamming by myself in the audience, Ryan Leslie started singing to me.  Needless to say, that was the highlight of my night, and I was beaming the rest of the weekend!  All in all, I had a great time at The Park Unplugged.  My new partner-in-crime, AGinDC, went with me, even though she wasn’t familiar with Ryan’s music.  I think she left quite pleased. 

I do have some gripes, and I’m not sure if the first one was because of the venue or the event promoter.

Gripe 1: The event didn’t start on time.  I arrived around 6, early enough to grab a cocktail and to get a good view of the stage.  The 3rd floor, where the concert was held, didn’t open until after 7, when Ryan was supposed to perform. 

Gripe 2:  There were too many opening acts.  Now, I’m all for supporting local artists, but I wasn’t interested in them.  I wanted to see Ryan Leslie.  Both acts were talented, but because of the fact that I was ready for the main event, I was over both of them.

Gripe 3:  Security at The Park.  Because I was so close to the stage, I had to move to make a pathway for Ryan (and his entourage) to pass through before and after his performance.  After he was done, a pathway was made for him to walk through.  After everyone left the stage area, I waited a few seconds to see if anyone else needed to pass.  When others started to move, I moved, too.  That’s when I felt a push on my shoulder from one of the security guards.  Yeah, not really necessary seeing as how I’m only 5’4″ and this guy was at least 6′. 

Ryan playing the keyboards

But all of my gripes became null and void, except #3, when Ryan took to the stage.  He was amazing, as he usually is in live performances.  (I saw him in person when I moved to DC 2 years ago.  I was right up on the stage that time as well.)  He played the keyboard, stood on the stage rail, and was very engaged with his audience.  I have to admit, I thought there were a few times that he and I made eye contact (minus the time he was singing to me-I KNOW we had eye contact) even though he had his shades on, and I sang along and smiled at him.  And after looking around, I noticed that I clearly was not the only woman who thought the same thing. 

All in all, I had a great start to Birthday Month!  AGinDC and I made our way to Mellon Auditorium for the Gentleman Jack event, but due to the line being too long and us being old women, we went home.  I had a great, busy weekend.  If you went to The Park this past Friday, how was your experience?  If you’ve seen Ryan Leslie perform live before, what did you think?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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