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Concert Reviews:
Mike Posner brings it home at the Fillmore Detroit
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



DETROIT -- Mike Posner's big homecoming concert Saturday night (Oct. 16) at the Fillmore Detroit was a hot prospect -- and hotter than some may have realized.

Shortly before taking the stage, the 22-year-old pop/R&B/hip-hop alchemist tweeted that "I'm pretty sure I have a one million degree fever right now." Nevertheless, he added, "show must go on," even though afterwards he apologized for being in "poor" voice, explaining that "I haven't been this sick in a minute."

Fortunately the sense of event prevailed, and the Southfield-raised singer and Birmingham Groves graduate made his home town -- including a full compliment of family members in the Fillmore's VIP section -- proud on Saturday.

It was Posner's first stop in Detroit since the release of his Top 10 debut album, "31 Minutes to Takeoff," in August and also his first appearance with a full band after previous performances solo. If he was hurting behind his shades and underneath his vintage Lance Parrish Detroit Tigers jacket it showed only in a slight thinness in his vocals, and they grew stronger throughout the 14-song, 65-minute show that drew primarily from "31 Minutes..." but also included tracks from his pair of self-released 2009 mix tapes.

And it was certainly an indication that Posner has more than just one big hit -- "Cooler Than Me" -- in his pocket when the crowd sang along to more obscure, grass roots fare such as "Drug Dealer Girl" and "Speed of Sound."

Posner has also adapted well to a band setting, with two backing singers adding depth to the vocals and four instrumentalists providing a chance to stretch out and vamp, with the crew did to good effect on "Cheated," "Do U Wanna?," "Save Your Goodbye" and "Boom Chicka Wow Wow," during which he brought a girl from the crowd on stage to dance with him and then rewarded her with a large stuffed teddy bear. "Still Not Over You," with its lengthy call-and-response exercise, ran a bit too long, but his short rendition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Snow ((Hey Oh))" and a powerhouse one-two punch of "You Don't Have to Leave" and "Evil Woman" more than compensated.

Rapper Big Sean joined Posner and company for "Smoke & Drive," while the singer rocked a Sergei Federov Red Wings jacket (give him props for his Detroit sports roots) for the encore of "Cooler Than Me." It may not have been Posner at full strength, but it was good enough for a very good time and a solid homecoming -- and a hope for a healthy return before too long.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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