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Alicia Keys Offers a Sonic Journey With ‘Girl on Fire’ at New York’s Lincoln Center

Citi

Call her fancy feet. Alicia Keys, her hair slicked back and donning an elegant black-and-white pantsuit, removed herself from behind the piano Monday night (Oct. 15) at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City to dance to the sounds of her forthcoming fifth opus, Girl on Fire, due Nov. 27.

The Big Apple native was in visibly high spirits as she shimmied and twirled around the stage, performing hits from her past LPs as well, all for the Citi AAdvantage Love the Journey concert series. Citi provided The BoomBox with tickets to the memorable event, one that the R&B songstress commenced with engaging words. “I’m gonna take you to many different places,” she announced. “Let’s start here.”

See Photos of Alicia Keys Performing for the Citi AAdvantage Love the Journey Concert

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Seated at the piano, she made a bold statement by kicking off the night with her 2004 hit “Karma.” Keys may have began with an ode centered on an ill-fated romance but she moved to “a good 85 degrees” and switched the mood with the refreshingly flirtatious track “You Don’t Know My Name.”

Keys seemed to give the room an audible hug as she moved to a sythensizer to play “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart,” all while she was cloaked in a blue hue from the stage lights above. She also paused between songs to give more personal anecdotes. The 31-year-old prefaced “A Woman’s Worth,” off her debut LP, Songs in A Minor, with a story of penning the track after watching an ad on TV.

“I was on the couch after Thanksgiving, ’cause I ate too much,” Keys said with a laugh. “I saw this girl [in a commercial] flinging her hair and she said, ‘Because I’m worth it.’ I was like, ‘That’s good!” Then it all came together.”

Her vocals were crisp and trenchant; her storytelling drew laughs and cheers from the audience; and her command of the ivories on the piano only further supported the notion Keys is an undeniable force to be reckoned with in the R&B landscape.

“Listen to Your Heart,” an uptempo dance-inspired ditty off Girl on Fire, came next. The effort was a first listen for many of the concert-goers. “He says take a chance… Listen to your heart.. You say I’m a little bit scared/ Just hold on we’re almost there,” Keys sang. The album’s inspirational title track in addition to her don’t-be-mad-I-changed-for-the-better” ode “Brand New Me” — a track Alicia Keys tags as her “autobiography” — were also sonic treats served. The latter earned her a standing ovation.

Before the night’s end, she grooved through “Fallin’” — the song that put her on the map 11 years ago — “Empire State of Mind” and “No One,” with the audience on their feet. She thanked her band for their unyielding support and exited the stage, however, like any fan knows, an encore soon followed. The chanteuse capped off the festivities with another new song, “Not Even a King,” and the throwback “If I Ain’t Got You.”

For an entertainer usually stationed at the piano, Alicia Keys’ dancing onstage was a highlight of the night. The endless applause she subsequently received proved her title as a “girl on fire.”


Watch a Past Performance of Alicia Keys’ “A Woman’s Worth

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