Nothing says “I love you” like a ticket to the Bad Boy Reunion Tour. On Saturday February 13, 2016, Smash Productions brought Bad Boy Records’ legends Faith Evans, Mase, and Carl Thomas, along with special guest Case, to Grand Rapids, MI on a snowy Valentine’s Day weekend. The blisteringly cold weather couldn’t keep their droves of fans away from DeVos Performance Hall, and everyone who braved the elements to attend, including SoulTrain.com, was rewarded with an outstanding concert.
Hearing Faith’s chillingly powerful voice is a mesmerizing live experience. After opening with “You Used to Love Me,” Faith promised the audience something special for her first ever performance in Michigan’s second largest city. She dug into her deep hits catalog, offering up a selection of songs she doesn’t regularly perform. “Never Gonna Let You Go,” “Come Over,” “I Love You,” and “Again” turned DeVos into the ultimate throwback singalong. Carl Thomas even joined her for their duet “Can’t Believe.”
While performing “Tears of Joy,” Faith brought out gospel mega star and Detroit native Kierra Sheard to assist her. This surprise brought the house down. Faith closed with “Love Like This,” allowing a number of audience members on stage to party and sing with her.
Stand-up comedian Hen Sapp kept the audience laughing and the energy high between each act. While not a Bad Boy legend, when it comes to hilarious, clean humor, Sapp’s a bad boy.
Hip-hop star Mase, one of Bad Boy’s baddest, kept the audience on their feet dancing and rapping throughout his entire performance. After verses from collaborative hits “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems,” “Been Around the World,” “Only You,” and “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” along with his solo hits “Lookin’ At Me” and “Feels So Good,” he addressed his controversial turn to ministry. During one of the night’s most memorable moments, Mase shared that God had blessed him with everything he ever prayed for, so the time came for him to give back. He said, “I’m not a church [dude] who went to the streets, I’m a street [dude] who went to church.” He closed by leading the audience in a heartfelt prayer.
Carl Thomas made everyone “Emotional,” especially the screaming women in attendance. During the soulful singer/songwriter’s time on stage, he engaged the audience in conversation and song. The crowd came unglued during his #1 hit “I Wish.”
Case closed the night with a strong set. Where the “Happily Ever After” singer really shone, though, was off stage. He graciously interacted and took pictures with fans during the VIP after party. DJ Buscat and PJ Da DJ made them dance while Case warmly made them smile.
—Mr. Joe Walker
Mr. Joe Walker is an urban and pop culture enthusiast. Known as “The Word Heavyweight Champion”, the biographer, author, entertainment and celebrity journalist, and columnist is currently a senior writer for SoulTrain.com, staff writer for Muskegon Tribune Newspaper, and writer of weekly classic hip-hop reviews for Concrete Magazine’s Concrete615.com. Also co-creator of TheGrooveSpot.com, Walker’s acclaimed, award-winning work has been published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. He is also working on a book project with Liquid Arts & Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker, connect with him on Facebook, and also visit his blog MrJoeWalker.blogspot.com.