KENNY G, TONI BRAXTON with Mint Condition, Delta Center, Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m. One show only.
The Delta Center was filled with an evening of soulful easy listening Sunday night.
Grammy Award-winners Toni Braxton and Kenny G shared the bill during a three-hour show that had music lovers moving in their seats and dancing on the stage.
Braxton, the sultry-voiced singer who was recently named VH1's Artist of the Month for November, opened the evening and entertained the sometimes too-mellow audience with cabaret choreography, personable monologues and emotive singing.
"You Mean the World to Me," "Let It Flow" and her breakthrough single "Breathe Again" were among the serenading selections Braxton sang.
But music wasn't the only thing on tap for the evening. There was also a little theater.
While she teased the audience with an excerpt from "Talking In Your Sleep," Braxton casually conversed with the audience about finding a new boyfriend. She randomly summoned a man named Antoine from the fifth row to join her on stage and proceeded to shower him with gifts while chiming out "I Love Me Some Him."
The audience whooped and hollered when she sat him down on a white designer couch and nestled in his lap. Antoine, trying to play it cool, was at a loss for words at times - making the scene that much more charming. And no, he wasn't a plant.
The petite vocalist asked another five men to join her on stage toward the end of the show during the suggestive bump and grind of "You're Makin' Me High," a move that made the audience roar with delight.
Other tunes of which Braxton dabbled included an excerpt from the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" and the tearful ballad "Un-break My Heart." The 28-year-old singer also climbed a grand staircase and crooned "In the Late of Night," while stars fittingly lit up a velvet backdrop.
At the show's most intimate moment, Braxton emerged playing a white baby-grand piano during "How Could an Angel Break My Heart," while saxman G (short for Gorelick) stepped out of the shadows to accompany the singer.
During one of Braxton's many costume changes, her back-up band, Mint Condition, took center stage and played its funky single "What Kind of Man Would I Be" from the album "Definition of a Band."
G began his set at the back of the arena. He slow-stepped down the Delta Center stairs blowing away while his band - keyboardist Robert Damper, drummer Bruce "Boo Boo" Carter, percussionist Ron Powell, guitarist John Raymond and bassist Vail Johnson - jammed away.
With his slender alto sax strapped to his neck, G sauntered down the aisles and played his hit "Silhouette," from the album of the same name. He also demonstrated his lung and diaphragm power with a three-minute sustain.
"Forever in Love," "Morning" and "A Year Ago," were also included in the romantic set.
G, who hails from Seattle, spent some time talking with the audience and joked about the Jazz and Supersonics rivalry. Then tactfully the instrumentalist played "Going Home," "Sister Rose" and "Esther."
The saxophonist's band also dazzled the audience with solos. The most memorable were Powell's and Johnson's separate spots. Powell beat away at the congas, djembes and tambourine while Johnson, a little bit later, thunked out loud and grooving jams.
Braxton, G and Mint Condition proved to be an inspired combination. And though some of Braxton's set was lost in the Delta Center's concrete and steel ceiling, the beats moved all those in attendance.