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'A Night of Legends' brings music back to Chaifetz Arena

“A Night of Legends” brought the sounds of Alex Isley, Stokley, Charlie Wilson, and The Isley Brothers to the stage
Credit: St. Louis American
The Isley Brothers

ST. LOUIS — What better way to bring live music back to the Chaifetz Arena for the first time since February 2020 than with some old-school R&B favorites and new school tunes?

“A Night of Legends” brought the sounds of Alex Isley, Stokley, Charlie Wilson, and The Isley Brothers to the stage on Sunday, Sept. 26.

Alex Isley, daughter of Ernie Isley, opened the show with a few of her hits including last year’s “Good & Plenty.” Her stage presence and incredible vocal ability proved that she is a standout star in her own right, while proudly continuing the tradition of her famous family.

Mint Condition lead singer and solo artist, Stokley, kept the crowd jamming from start to finish with his set, which included hits from his band and albums.

The upbeat and fun “Vibrant,” from his latest album “Sankofa” opened his performance. Then he transitioned to Mint’s “U Send Me Swingin,” where he showed his best dance moves.

If you didn’t know before that Stokley is a phenomenal dancer, well now you know. His vocal talent perfectly matches his smooth, show stopping moves.

Other songs included “She,” “Breakin My Heart, (Pretty Brown Eyes),” and “Levels.”

Charlie Wilson aka “Uncle Charlie,” a nickname all fans and music lovers know him by thanks to Snoop Dogg gracing him with it, took the stage in a blue sequin jacket and his dancers followed wearing matching jackets in varying hues. He started his performance, which he calls a party rather than a concert, with “Party Train,” by his iconic group The Gap Band.

Surprisingly, once upon the stage some people were still in their seats. 

“You know what’s got me confused, I’m Charlie Wilson and people are sitting down that don’t add up to me,” Wilson said.

The crowd went crazy when he made that statement and from there the energy in the room completely changed. He began walking back and forth from side to side to see who was the hypest. Once he did that there was a major shift in the audience and everyone became more engaged.

He gave a lot of love and appreciation toward St. Louis, sharing that it is one of his favorites in the world.

“What y’all think about Uncle Charlie? Cause I love you St. Louis, and y’all about to make me cry up in here tonight,” he said.

He continued the nostalgic feelings and emotions everyone has from listening to The Gap Band with “Yearning for Love,” “Burn Rubber,” “Outstanding,” and “You Dropped a Bomb On Me.”

Ladies love Uncle Charlie. He’s charming, full of life, knows how to have fun, and gives the younger generation a run for their money when it comes to live performance.

He joked and told the fellas if they didn’t stand up and acknowledge they brought the finest woman in the room he would place the spotlight on them and call him out on the microphone.

“Look at that girl you brought with you ‘cause I want you to tell her your name,” he said.

“She done forgot your damn name up in here ‘cause she looking at Charlie Wilson. Don’t get mad and start sitting down.”

He sang many of his solo singles we all know and love including “Charlie Last Name Wilson,” “You Are,” “There Goes My Baby” and “I’m Blessed.”

At 68, healthy and happy, he shared his story of overcoming addiction and that God saved him.

“I was an alcoholic and a crack cocaine addict, but I’m 27 years clean and sober cause I found somebody who picked me up and placed my feet on solid ground,” he said.

He concluded his performance with “Bound 2,” by Kanye West which he was featured on from his 2013 “Yeezus,” album.

The legendary Isley Brothers, featuring the two remaining biological siblings Ernie and Ron, took the audience down memory lane with their astonishing catalog of hits spanning over six decades. 

Hit after hit including “Summer Breeze,” “For the Love of You,” “Choosey Lover,” and more, they kept the crowd entertained with their beloved feel-good music.

For “Footsteps in the Dark,” they included Ice Cube’s sample of the song with “Today Was A Good Day.”

Singing sister-duo Kim Johnson & Kandy Isley, Ron’s wife, held down the background vocals beautifully on every track.

Ernie displayed why he’s recognized as one of the greatest guitar players of all time as he struck the strings of his instrument so effortlessly.

Kandy joined Ron for a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin and vocal powerhouse Whitney Houston.

“I said for every show now (I’m going) to do something for my best friend Aretha Franklin,” Ron said. “I wanna dedicate this song to her sitting all the way up in heaven, her and Whitney Houston.”

They rounded out the show with their first major hit, “Shout,” which was released in 1959.

“Make me wanna shout; if you don’t know anything about that just ask your grandmother.”

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