It’s been six long years since Frankie Beverly and Maze graced ESSENCE Fest and the fans let the legendary band know its presence is truly a present.
“We appreciate the love,” Frankie Beverly said. “It’s really a pleasure to be back out here,”
The show was like a Black family reunion soundtrack, as the headlining act performed nostalgic hit after hit, capping the night with the classic record “Before I Let Go,” which first appeared on the 1981 LP Live In New Orleans.
As the crowd exited, appearing equally thrilled by the show and exhausted from a night of dancing, ESSENCE.com valiantly searched for some unhappy campers leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Fortunately, we failed epically.
“They’re the best entertainers ever. The whole band. Maze came out and shut down the show. Best performance ever! I knew every song of Maze word for word. My mother-in-law was representing Maze back in 1980, before I was even born. I represent him til the day I die.”—Shana, 33
“I loved it. I only came back because he’s here. Please bring him back next year on Sunday night to close out. Thank you very much. We’ll take him for the next 20 years. We never get tired of him.” —Darcelle Gibson, 42
“It was exuberant. I loved the energy, the enthusiasm of the crowd, the camaraderie. It was a joyous experience. Everybody was on one accord enjoying themselves. When the guitarist Jubu came in with his lead solo on that guitar on “Golden Time of Day,” that was my favorite part. It was an experience to remember. Even though [Frankie Beverly] aged, we know there’s a little sickness going on, the love covers it all. The notes he couldn’t hit, we hit. It was awesome.” —Crissi Williams, 34
“This is only my second Essence Festival so I haven’t ever seen him perform. It was nice. I loved the show, I enjoyed myself, I enjoyed hustling with the whole entire audience.” —Kyra Person, 25
“It was good to see him perform. I’ve seen him before in Detroit. He always has the same energy and I love how people always stand up and dance. I really like ‘We Are One.’” —Larenda Moss, 25
“Pretty good stuff. I’ve seen him hundreds of times. He was good all around. Are you going to put this on YouTube?” —Chapman Johnson, 72
“Frankie Beverley is the king of New Orleans. Enough said.” —Kenny Carter, 35