Saturday, April 4, 2015
On the Town with Buddy B in Diva Town, Part 2: Inaya Day
Nick Lion and I headed to the West Village from W. 23rd St. where we'd just seen Gretchen Reinhagen perform (see part 1 of this article). Nick had parked right outside the Metropolitan Room, so it was to the Nickmobile to our next adventure!
Again, there were divas on-stage (Inaya, Toni Menage, keyboardist/singer Amina Buddafly) and off-stage (DeVonde Williams). The set proceeded with a series of rousing arrangements of pop cover classics, kicking off with "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." The '80s were revived via tunes like "Manic Monday" and "Message in a Bottle."
Ms Day and the band were a fine ensemble and vocal duties were generously shared by all. Guest vocalists took to the stage for songs like Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" and the show was an epic extravaganza that broke for intermission close to three hours. It was unfortunate that, because of the long night and pervious show, and due to our obligations the next day, Nick and I had to leave during the break. Inaya doesn't put on mere shows, she puts on events! My review of her previous show with the group TRIo (with Ms Menage and Ria Alexander) described it as "a happening"
Toni Menage rocked her guest appearance on lead vocals with very soulful interpretations of Adele's "Rumor Has It," top-10 classics like "Killing Me Softly" and "It Takes Two." Ms Day, for her part, roused the audience with reggae renderings of "Sometimes I Get the Feeling" (rapid-fire dance-hall style) and "You Sexy Thing." Prior to that latter number, Ms Buddafy's straight-forward cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass." had the audience on their feet on the cabaret floor, dancing to the end of the first set.
Lou Rawls' "You'll Never Find" and two Alicia Keys hits -- "No One" and "New York, New York" --were among popular favorites of the night. Over fifty years of pop, rock, reggae and rap were on display. We left, happy, into the night though wishing we could stay for more. A wonderful band that seemed to be able to do everything; courteous and attentive service at our table (from our waitress, Tatianna) and, most especially, the always dazzling vocals of Inaya Day among others finished off this night on the town in an exquisite, grand manner..