With the recent release of her new EP FVCK&LOVE and the anticipation of her upcoming sophomore release Friends & Lovers, it’s absolutely no surprise that British songstress Marsha Ambrosius sold out the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. By sold out, I mean everywhere you stood, security would ask you to move because people couldn’t see. By sold out I mean, there was no empty seat in the house, at all. By sold out, I mean Ambrosius has a loyal following because the Howard Theatre was buzzing with a palpable energy that affirms the singer’s classic talent. After Philly-bred opening acts R&B group MPrynt and singer Jade Alston got the crowd warmed up, the audience was more than excited when they announced Ambrosius was ready to perform.
Sauntering on the stage with a laced and tasseled, black and nude robe, Ambrosius seduced old fans and enticed new ones with a delicate version of Sade's "Stronger than Pride." Ambrosius then went into "Late Nights, Early Mornings," the title track of her first solo album released in 2011, which her and her band stealthy blended with Prince's "The Beautiful Ones." With any given live performance by Ambrosius, you're sure to get some inappropriate comedy; in this case she defined a friend with benefits in detail after she asked the crowd if they believed people could truly be friends and lovers. Of course, this segued into her newest track "Friends & Lovers" and later "I Want You to Stay." Once the entrance to "Butterflies" played, the audience lit up and sang along to the track, where we again experienced a sneak mix of Michael Jackson’s "I Can't Help Myself." Things got a little raunchy when Ambrosius went into "69," a track from FVCK&LOVE, which is pretty self-explanatory and just as explicit when sung live.
Later in the show Ambrosius sang us some blues, lamenting a cheating significant other as she belted out "b*tches ain’t sh*t but hoes and tricks." I've never heard "motherf***er" sang so sweetly. It was here where Ambrosius stretched her skilled falsetto, which segued into another hit, "Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player)." A live band backed Ambrosius during her set, with DJ Aktive, who took time during the show to play a number of '90s hits that Ambrosius sang and danced to, in heels by the way. During Jodeci’s "Freek’N You," where she enlisted the help of MPrynt, Ambrosius and the quartet channeled the group and brought the house down with their a cappella harmonies. No DJ set is allowed in Washington, DC without a few go-go hits like "Da Butt" and "Sardines," which got the crowd out of their dinner seats. Marsha slowed it down for the rest of the evening by performing “Far Away,” a snippet of "It's Getting Late" and "Your Hands," enchanting the audience into silence. Ambrosius satisfied her long-time fans and ended the show with "Say Yes," from her Floetry days. After the show, Ambrosius stayed to take photos and chat with her fans, leaving her mark in Washington, DC and taking her Friends & Lovers Tour back on the road and on to its next destination.