“We look like a bunch of Halloween drag queens!” the ever-real powerhouse Patti Labelle exclaimed Thursday, January 29, 2009 at the Nokia Center in Los Angeles, CA. Patti Labelle was taking the stage with the original members of the group “Labelle,” Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash in their fifth show as a newly reformed group as part of a tour that has encompassed the United States and abroad.
“We started singing together the latter part of 1962,” Dash recalled on stage as Patti tried to remember the genesis of the trio.
Everything about the night was unconventional, moves that would sink most younger “girl” groups of today seemed natural for the three. The show opened with no flash, just Natalie Cole looking svelte walking out in front of a black curtain and introducing the group with Patti, Nona and Sarah then walking out and taking a curtain call before doing a thing. Since there was already a standing ovation, it seemed appropriate.
Then, without pyrotechnics or 58 High Def flatscreens, Patti and a group of six talented musicians with three additional backup singers kicked off the show with…a ballad? Yup, as Nona and Sarah moved to the corner of the stage like DooWop girls of the 1950s, Patti soared into a powerful, fully orchestrated rendition of “Miss Otis Regrets” from the group Labelle’s reunion release, Back To Now available at iTunes and every conventional outlet.
Hendryx was decked out in her traditional outlandish garb, feathers flowing from her head, rhinestones dangling, skin tight pants, no, being over 60 hasn’t changed her one bit. Sarah Dash, who announced, “I’m just happy to be up here in these pumps because two years ago I could not walk…” remained the less outlandish of the three while Patti stayed with her traditionally puffy garb of late, outfits befitting the “High Priestess of Soul” title heaped upon her by so many.
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