March 15, 2002
The Tabernacle-Atlanta, GA


Citizen Cope:

cs-citizencope1-Atlanta31502.JPG (43516 bytes)  cs-citizencope2-Atlanta31502.JPG (39444 bytes)  cs-citizencope3-Atlanta31502.JPG (49285 bytes)  cs-citizencope4-Atlanta31502.JPG (45666 bytes)

cs-citizencope5-Atlanta31502.JPG (37296 bytes)  cs-citizencope6-Atlanta31502.JPG (43424 bytes)  cs-citizencope7-Atlanta31502.JPG (36498 bytes) 

cs-citizencope8-Atlanta31502.JPG (42882 bytes)  cs-citizencope9-Atlanta31502.JPG (33123 bytes)


Nelly Furtado:

cs-NellyFurtado1-Atlanta31502.JPG (34087 bytes)  cs-NellyFurtado2-Atlanta31502.JPG (22424 bytes)  cs-NellyFurtado3-Atlanta31502.JPG (31045 bytes)  cs-NellyFurtado4-Atlanta31502.JPG (48337 bytes)

Canadian dervish Nelly Furtado spun out onto The Tabernacle stage yelling "Woah, Nelly!" as her well-versed band kicked off with the sputtering hip-pop scat of "Baby Girl." It is obvious that Furtado has logged a lot of miles over the past half-year since I last saw her. She now exudes the aura of a star and the practiced charm of a pro instead of the new kid on the block over-reaching of her last appearance in Atlanta at Moby's Area:One festival last summer. Her band mixed Latin grooves with insistent straight up beats and rock flourishes. Her bottom heavy take on Missy Elliot's "Get Ur Freak On" was an early highlight, but the appearance of a couple of male dancers was completely superfluous and equally as unnecessary. Nelly's on-stage charisma carried the show even through this as well as the times when the songs themselves lacked impact. Maybe it's because she is not a manufactured puppet.

cs-NellyFurtado5-Atlanta31502.JPG (31483 bytes)  cs-NellyFurtado6-Atlanta31502.JPG (21549 bytes)  cs-NellyFurtado7-Atlanta31502.JPG (18307 bytes)  cs-NellyFurtado8-Atlanta31502.JPG (64631 bytes)

At least Nelly's a songwriter. It's just that while she's miles above her competitors in creativity, her talent has yet to coalesce into anything timeless. Of all of her current material, only her Grammy winning "I'm Like A Bird" is deserving of any lasting merit. She's clearly grown a lot over the past year, however, and her sophomore record may surprise people when it appears. Perhaps she realizes this, too, and that could explain the live re-workings of some of the mostly stiff-debut CD's musical arrangements. "Trynna Find A Way" had a bite in concert that was distinctly lacking on the recording. She even incorporated a chunk of No Doubt's current smash "Hey Baby" into the tapestry of the tune much to the delight of the surprisingly young audience. (Honestly, I've never seen so many pre-teens in a smoky, alcohol drenched environment in my life). Musical fly-offs to the Orient and Portugal during "Legend" demonstrated the band and singer's skill at melding so many styles into a palatable pop concoction as swirling fluorescent psychedelic disco lighting kept the room spinning. For her first encore, she chose to perform a medley of songs that influenced her in years past. Kriss Kross' "Jump" slid into LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" and Salt N' Pepa's "Push It." This all served to hype the crowd up before she belted out Mary J. Blige's "Real Love."

cs-NellyFurtado9-Atlanta31502.JPG (24431 bytes)  cs-NellyFurtado10-Atlanta31502.JPG (56615 bytes)

Eventually, she found her way to "Turn Out The Light." At the beginning of the song it was as tepid as the studio recording until the band slammed into the Timbaland-remix version that made the song a hit. Unfortunately, the end of the show was anticlimactic as an otherwise effervescent "Shit On The Radio" got bogged down in introductions and band noodling that took away from the sugar-high of the current hit. Overall, this was a satisfying show. Nelly and her band proved their ability to make the most out of less than stellar material. It is clear that Nelly Furtado has what it takes to survive the "teen pop" tag better than anyone else has ever managed to do. While Britney Spears coos about being "Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" with words that aren't even her own in an attempt to cynically saturate two markets, Nelly Furtado declares "I don't want to be your baby girl" and then just does whatever she wants. If "teen pop" was in Nelly Furtado's hands, it might have a chance. (Chris McKay/


Nelly Furtado set list (Atlanta 3-15-02):

1. Baby Girl
2. I Will Make U Cry
3. Party
4. Get Ur Freak On
5. Well Well
6. Hey Man
7. I'm Like A Bird
8. Love Grows Deeper
9. Legend
10. Scared
11. Onda Estas
12. Asha Mix
13. I Feel U
14. Hey Baby/Trynna Find A Way


15. Medley: Jazz/Jump/Mama Said Knock You Out/Push It/Real Love
16. Turn Off The Light
17. Shit On The Radio/Outtro