January 10, 2015
American Airlines Center
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Paul Wilkins
Super Sonic Soul Hits The AAC As Lenny Kravitz Rocks Big D
To help Dallas celebrate Championship weekend of the AT&T College Football Playoff, Lenny Kravitz came to town for a special one-off show at the American Airlines Center. Because of a serious lack of advertising, the vibe was very strange at the beginning due to a half-empty arena, but that didn't keep Lenny and his band from delivering a solid, heartfelt performance.
Opening with "Dirty White Boots" from 2014's Strut, followed by crowd-pleasers "American Woman" and "It Ain't Over Til It's Over," Lenny and his flawless band had everyone dancing and singing along. The party really got going in the middle of the set, however, when they tore through extended versions of 2008's "Dancin' Til Dawn" and 1991's "Always on the Run." Guitarist Craig Ross, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, and saxophonist Harold Todd were especially brilliant during these jam sessions, as they traded solos and interacted with Lenny like they were having the time of their lives.
After an extremely sexy rendition of "I Belong to You," Lenny stopped to talk to the audience about how the recent terrorist attack in Paris, his new hometown, has affected him. He very powerfully urged his audience to love and pray for the people who carried out the attack as well as the victims, then dedicated his breakthrough hit "Let Love Rule" to everyone involved. Towards the end of the song, the band kicked into a higher gear, and Lenny walked around the arena floor to sing with his people. It was a beautiful moment that seemed to mean as much to Lenny as it did to the fans he joined in the crowd.
The night ended with an extra funky "Fly Away" and a hard rocking "Are You Gonna Go My Way," and even though they only played eleven songs to a disappointing audience, it was every bit as satisfying as every Lenny Kravitz show I've ever seen. It was so good to see Cindy Blackman Santana back in the band, and I hope they come back and tour the US soon. Until that happens, we can look forward to seeing Lenny salvage this year's Super Bowl Halftime show. He'll be the one not lip-syncing.