In all my 37 years of life, there’s only one person (maybe two) who, to me, can even come close to giving off high-voltage energy and can move the crowd with unmatched magnetism and synergy like Miss Fantasia Barrino. The two in my book? Beyonce and the incomparable Patti LaBelle.
Last night I had the pleasure of seeing one of my singing Idols perform for the first time. On any given day, you can catch me rocking to the song “Doing Me” and singing it with all my heart like it’s a personal anthem. Fantasia’s chart-topping Back to Me CD is on heavy rotation in my Caravan. And you better believe my 7 and 8-year-olds be head-bopping and belting out all the words too. It is what it is.
Last night, less than an arm’s length away, I was all-up in Fantasia face, singing right along with her at the grand opening of Atlanta’s newest club, the Museum Bar. I sang so much, so hard, and so LOUD that Fantasia actually stopped a song, looked me straight in the eye and jokingly said, “Now you gonna stop singing all my songs like that!” That comment truly made my night.
Before long, Fantasia was kicking off shoes, cutting the rug, stripping off her coat and clearing her throat to belt out her hits with every gut-busting ounce she could give to the packed crowd. She rocked the house and even rocked a few Prince jams like Kiss and even the Chaka Khan and Rufus jam
Tell me Something Good. Only someone with an old-soul can sing songs like that. And the prolific singer’s got much heart and soul and a connection to her audience that is truly personal.
At one point she danced on a table right in front of a group of people, she pointed out to others and rallied them to take off their coats and shoes because the party was about to be set on fire.
Footloose and fancy-free she danced and stepped and strutted Tina Turner style, dropped it like it was hot and and didn’t stop a beat with sweat dripping from her brow.
It was in one word: FANTASTIC.
I had an absolutely FANTASTIC time. Much-needed because afterall, Me and my husband don’t get to go out much.
The Museum Bar is a new black-owned restaurant and night club. Last night the Fantasia concert started off with the owner Darrell Smith, acknowledging the 2-year arduous struggle to bring the Museum Bar to life. He brought to the stage his Museum Bar team and I have to apologize because I didn’t have pen and paper ready to take everyone’s name. But his story behind bringing the bar to fruition brought tears to my eyes.
Owner Darrell Smith and his Museum Bar Team
The restaurant was just a dream and a thought and through a series of meetings and connections, Darrell was able to realize a dream that was ignited and sparked by a vision he had. I was proud and happy for him. For any of us who have ever dreamed of building a business, it was wonderful to hear him speak so humbly about how he realized his dream. He thanked many supporters for their work alongside him.
The Museum Bar’s fare and namesake are inspired by its centuries old architecture. It’s a beautifully restored church that was constructed in the 1890s. So don’t be taken aback when you see the outside of the building. The inside is beautiful.
Last night was the Museum Bar’s Grand Opening. Although the concert was great and the atmosphere, magnetic, I have to say I did have a problem with the fact that it was STANDING ROOM ONLY. So I literally stood on my feet, in HIGH HEELS, to see Fantasia for TWO HOURS. OUCH!!!
The only seating that was available were tables/restored church pews right in front of the concert stage for people who were willing to purchase $300 bottles of booze. Then there was seating at the bar area, but those stools were filled as soon as I walked in at 10 PM when the bar opened.
In all fairness, I asked and was told that when the Museum Bar re-opens in 3 weeks there will be restaurant-style seating and tables and cuisine cooked by Hell Kitchen’s own Jason Ellis.
But for last night, to me, it was unexcusable to have paying patrons standing for SO LONG with nowhere to sit and no food. Not even a hot-wing.
Right now, my feet are still burning. By the end of the night I had stood on my feet for three hours straight. And for me that’s a hardship because I still have problems with my right foot after I broke it a few years back and had surgery. So standing for so long for me is a no-no. Next time I would advise the owners to consider things like that. My foot is still swollen and I will likely have to call my foot doctor tomorrow to get a cortisone shot because of it.
Other than that, I do highly recommend the Museum Bar because it’s a beautiful venue, the staff was VERY friendly and the free drinks for the first hour was a plus. And if nothing else, we have to support black businesses just as the owner Darrell Smith hired minority contractors to help get the Museum Bar off the ground. I also got my tickets through a black-owned business called Black Biz Hookup that is like a Black Groupon and discounts the services of black businesses to help give them an edge and exposure.
A night at the Museum Bar and seeing Fantasia was a good night indeed.
Miss Lawrence The “Closet Freak” from The Atlanta Housewives
Me and Fantasia’s ever-faithful manager Brian. He’s a sweetie
Me and Derrick J of Good Hair and the Atlanta Housewives. I asked and he said his weaves start at $450! Hmmm…