Romance & iconic stage presence were in effect when Johnny Gill and his New Edition bandmate, Ralph Tresvant, performed at the Rams Head Center Stage at the Maryland Live Casino in Hanover, Maryland on Friday September 28th. While the singers both came into the spotlight as members of the legendary music group New Edition, this show was dedicated to their solo material, with a few surprises thrown in as well.
Tresvant, New Edition’s lead singer, was the opening act for the show. As a die-hard New Edition fan, I have always felt that Tresvant never got his just due as a solo artist. Therefore, it was great to see the welcome response Tresvant received from the audience as he performed. Tresvant opened the portion of his show with his 1991 single “Yo, Baby, Yo!” from the House Party 2 soundtrack, followed by “Money Can’t Buy You Love”.
Tresvant used the platform to also perform songs from the New Edition catalog that the group had never actually performed live. Highlights include the low-key remix of “If It Isn’t Love” and the die-hard fan favorites “Baby Love” and “Delicious”. Tresvant than closed his portion of the show with his signature song “Sensitivity”
After a brief intermission, Trevsant’s bandmate & DC native, Johnny Gill, graced the stage. I recently had the chance to see Johnny Gill a few months back, so I knew what to expect from his set list. Gill opened his show with “Wrap My Body Tight” from his 1990 self-titled album, and transitioned into the still smooth “Fairweather Friend”. Gill displayed an infectious smile while performing his up-tempo material, however Gill’s age is beginning to show when he does his dance moves.
Thankfully, Gill did not spend his entire set dancing; instead, he decided to focus on his love songs for the majority of it. Gill sang his classic love songs “There U Go”, “It Would Be You” and “Game Changer”. Before the night was complete, Ralph Tresvant also returned to the stage to join Gill for a performance of the iconic New Edition ballad “Can You Stand the Rain”. Gill than closed his set out with his two signature songs “My My My” and “Rub You the Right Way”.
New Edition is a rarity in the music industry as every member from the group had solo success. While fans await a reunion of all six members on one stage, it was great to see Johnny Gill & Ralph Tresvant perform the music I grew up loving, as well as songs I never thought I would hear live. While I would have liked equal stage time for both Gill and Tresvant, both men still performed a great trip down memory lane.
Final Grade B-