ATLANTA — You knew it was a special kind of craziness at “ATL Live on the Park” when soul singer Keri Hilson was going to climb the stage at the Park Tavern to sing happy birthday to a group of female fans — all while carrying her big bowl of soup.
But once the “Pretty Girl Rock” and “Knock You Down” singer got to the stage, after being summoned up by fellow sexy songstress Demetria McKinney, Hilson and McKinney absolutely killed the song, punctuated powerfully by Hilson’s five-octave range that inspired a rousing standing ovation from the packed crowd at the Park Tavern as “ATL Live on the Park” commenced its 7th season.
The whole evening rolled on that kind of electric flow that began with radio personality Ed Lover’s sharp barbs and hilarious quick wit that he routinely demonstrates during his morning show on Boom 102.9/97.5, and continued on with new in-house deejay, DJ E-Clazz, who had the house rocking with killer selections of old-school hip hop classics in between up-and-coming musical acts.
Some of the other highlights to the season opening performances included sets by Quinn and Jukebox, Crystal Cruz, Candice Nelson and Pepsi’s Artist Spotlight of the Month Ghetto&Blues.
Quin and Jukebox opened the show with a small tribute to the late Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. Crystal Cruz showcased her strong vocals by performing two original songs, ‘I’m Yours’ and ‘When You Know’. Cruz closed her set with a timeless cover by Etta James, ‘All I Do Is Cry’. Candice Nelson, known for writing for some of the biggest names in R&B including Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, J-Lo and more performed her original song ‘One Man’ and ended her set with a cover by Mary J. Blige ‘Take Me As I Am’. Ghetto&Blues, this month’s Pepsi’s Artist Spotlight of the Month, earned their title with last night’s performance.Ghetto&Blues kicked off their set with ‘So Here We Go’, followed by their chart-topping hit ‘Maria Maria’, a song Ghetto&Blues collaborated with Carlos Santana in 1999. Ghetto&Blues concluded their huge performance with an original titled ‘Big Poppa’.
In addition to Lover, McKinney and Hilson, “ATL Live on the Park” also attracted a bevy of celebrities and influencers, including super-producer Polow Da Don, Tameka Raymond (“Atlanta Exes”) and many others.Christopher Riley of VH1’s Hit the Floor, WSB-TV’s Jovita Moore, Demetria McKinney, Dedra Allen from WEtv’s Cutting It in the ATL, Tameka Foster, Jason Riddick of Hot 107.9, Teresa Caldwell, Hurricane Dave of Radio One, Greg Smith of SESAC, DJ Fadelf, and more.
The music extravaganza, a musical creation of industry legend Shanti Das and Marlon Nichols, commenced Season 7 through its partnership with Pepsi, Gentleman Jack, Majic 107.5 and Boom102.9/97.5.
Take a look at some of the photos from the 7th season of “ATL Live on the Park” at Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta.