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Where It's At
Anita Baker upcoming at McCaw Hall - opportunity to see an amazing diva
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

ANITA BAKER
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4 - 7:30PM
MCCAW HALL $52.50-$150.00


The first time I listened to Anita Baker was on a school bus in my teen years. Two decades later (okay, maybe three), I still get the chills from the sounds of "Sweet Love". The diva's debut single remains one of R & B's finest songs, and her Grammy-winning album Rapture is considered a soul classic. The former office secretary shot to fame in the late 80s behind a string of hits that also included "Giving You the Best That I Got", "Just Because", and "Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)". Commercial success paired with critical acclaim earned Baker a spot on VH1's "100 Greatest Women in Rock", compiled in 1999. Over the past years Baker has juggled motherhood and a career, resulting in less than a handful of CDs with original work. 2004's My Everything was the latest release of new material to come from the Detroit-based vocalist.

Baker's previous visit to the Puget Sound was three years ago, an outdoor performance at Chateau St. Michelle. The concert was divine, complete with an elegant stage d├ęcor that included a sparkling chandelier, giant drapes and a baby grand piano. It was everything I expected and more, the girl put on a fabulous show and she was ever so perky when interacting with the crowd. She sang every major hit from her catalog and even took a request from the crowd, if I remember correctly. Fortunately, Baker hasn't thrown in the towel as a touring act and is currently on a fall-winter jaunt that delivers her to Seattle this weekend.

McCaw Hall will be the setting for Anita Baker's return to the Emerald City. The pristine, intimate venue at Seattle Center has been the choice locale for well-known artists desiring a smaller performing space - Norah Jones and Michael Buble have both played sold out shows there in recent months. Baker is petite, but she packs a lot of punch in that small frame of hers. Expect to hear the aforementioned songs, and she'll likely add "No One in the World", "Body and Soul", "Lead Me Into Love" onto the set list. I'll collapse to the floor if she does "Baby" from her Rhythm of Love album. I've been told that there is no opening act. If you're an Anita Baker fan, an opportunity to see her in a lush atmosphere is rare - so make this a priority option for Sunday evening. Avoid Ticketmaster's online and phone fees by purchasing your tickets at McCaw Hall's box office. On the day of performance, ride the monorail and relieve yourself of parking hassles. A. Rodriguez

Artist essentials: Rapture is Anita Baker's best work.
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photos by Joey - SGN photographer

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