The Strength of A Woman Concert Series closed out Saturday night with a bang at State Farm Arena in Atlanta providing a night of nostalgia, emotion, and feel-good moments. The line-up featured eights acts ranging from City Girls to Chaka Khan. Khan was among the headliners alongside Mary J. Blige and surprise performers Ella Mai, Usher, Summer Walker, and Jermaine Dupri.
The first acts of the night were Atlanta’s own Omeretta The Great and Baby Tate. Between sets, V103’s Kenny Burns and DJ Mars kept the crowd going with timeless classics and oldies. Queen Naija was the next act to take the stage. She opened to her hit “Bad Vibes,” wearing a full hot pink glitter bodysuit with backup dancers following suit. As part of her set, her dancers performed a dance break to Fivio Foreign’s “What’s My Name” before she performed her verse. Before departing, she sang some of her most popular songs, including “Butterflies”, “Karma,” “Lie To Me,” and “Medicine.”
Following Naija’s exit, the crowd got extremely hype within a few moments as a snippet of “Tighten Up” blasted through the arena. After “Take Yo Man,” JT called to the crowd, “Ladies if yo baby daddy ain’t sh*t make some motherf**king noise!” A sea of screams erupted. Then, JT performed some of her popular verses from the “Said Sum Remix” and “Throat Baby Remix”. After telling all of the women in the crowd to enjoy their Mother’s Day, Yung Miami and JT finished with “Twerkulator”.
Xscape performed their timeless classics “Who Can I Run To” and “My Little Secret” in the second half of the concert before closing it out with “Understanding”. Chaka Khan (a living legend I never thought I would see live) graced the stage opening with “Do you Love What You Feel”. It is at this point that the show truly takes on a nostalgic tone. The performer Chaka Khan belongs to a different era. She knows how to command the stage with her presence and charisma. Her band is electrifying. A number of her hits, including “Sweet Thang”, “Through The Fire”, and “I’m Every Woman”, had the whole crowd roaring, but her end-of-the-show performance that included “Ain’t Nobody” brought the crowd to its feet.
After much anticipation, Mary J. Blige took the stage in an all orange ensemble matched with orange glitter boots, performing the timeless hit “I Can Love You.” Mary proceeded to sing a string of her classic hits ranging from “Love No Limit” to “Looking for Love”. After a brief intermission, fans jumped for joy after Mary took the stage wearing an all hot pink ensemble to perform “You’re All I Need”, which she performed with Method Man (whom the ladies couldn’t get enough of and with good reason). With each passing moment, it was evident Mary began feeding off the love and energy from the crowd. Following a brief intermission, she shared her meaningful remarks on what the festival meant to her.
Up next, special guest Ella Mai performed “Boo’d Up” and a new single from her new album. Later Mary surprised audiences by bringing out Atlanta’s own Summer Walker. In the background, two guitarists accompanied Summer while she performed “Unloyal”. And the surprises continued to only get better. After Summer, Mary came back to the stage to sing her meaningful and newest single “Good Morning Gorgeous.” As Mary asked the crowd if they would like to hear a song from her new album, thee Usher Raymond appeared onstage. “Bad Girl” was Usher’s tribute to the queen after the duo performed “Need Love.” The final surprise of the night was Atlanta producer Jermaine Dupri performing “Welcome to Atlanta.” Mary closed out the show with a performance of “Just Fine.”
If you mussed this past weekend’s festivities, not to worry. Mary J. Blige has stated that she intends to hold The Strength of A Woman Summit every Mother’s Day weekend in Atlanta.