The 94.7 The Wave radio station surely knows how to put on a concert, as seen from its highly popular Wavefest jazz concerts and romantic Valentine’s Concert series.
So when it was revealed that The Wave would introduce yet another concert series – this time, the 1st Annual Winter Wonderland – we excitedly rushed over to the Universal Gibson Amphitheater this past Saturday night to see how it would be. In true Wave fashion, it was a dazzling night, with no shortage of great performances, beautiful Christmas decorations on the stage, and quite a few fun impromptu moments…and of course, plenty of couples on romantic dates and animated groups of friends.
Johnny Gill opened the 3-hour affair, performing hits from his solo career such as the sultry “My My My” and also introducing songs off his newest studio album, Still Winning. He didn’t forget to include singles from his groups, like the LSG classic “My Body” and the New Edition ballad “Can You Stand the Rain.” And in fact, New Edition group member Ralph Tresvant joined him to chime in on a few songs and to pass out roses to a handful of lucky ladies.
Decked in a white suit and a cream cashmere sweater (fortunately for us, the jacket and the sweater eventually came off), Gill was quite the charming ladies’ man. He shimmied and shook, grinding and effortlessly doing signature 1990s dance moves. He serenaded several ladies and even brought a few of them onstage to dance and to sing along. His charming, charismatic persona had the crowd standing up, loudly cheering and singing along all throughout his performance.
After Gill riled the crowd up, Brian McKnight came on, opting to set a more subdued tone to close out the night. He started off with a few of his mellow hits, including a jazzy rendition of “All Night Long” and a sweet, melodic version of “You’re the Only One for Me.” Other singles he performed included “I Miss You” and “Back at One,” and he went to the piano to play and sing “White Christmas,” in the spirit of the holidays.
And while McKnight may have stuck to more ballads and slow tempo songs, he definitely had the crowd swaying in their seats and passionately singing along to his songs. He had a few surprises up his sleeve as well. Not only did he bring a lady onstage to serenade and to give a bouquet of roses, but he even kissed her, much to the delight of the lady and the roaring, clapping audience. He also brought out his two sons Niko and Brian Jr., who collectively form BRKN RBTZ, to prove that music runs in the family. Brian Jr. showed off his singing abilities while Niko flaunted his guitar skills.
94.7 The Wave surely knows how to put on a concert, and this first ever Winter Wonderland was no exception. We can’t wait to see what next year’s Winter Wonderland will have in store for us as well!
About the Author: Amber D. Wilson is a native Angeleno with a penchant for all thing revolving around eating, drinking and being absolutely and incredibly merry. She shares her passion with others through her own weekly blog, Wilson’s “Where To” Guide (www.wilsonswheretoguide.com). When she’s not out exploring the wonderful new hangout spots that Los Angeles has to offer, Amber can be found traveling, running 5K races and reading books by the beach.