Concert Review: Mary J. Blige and NAS Kick Off the Royalty Tour at Coral Sky Amphitheater

The Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, along with NAS co-headlined the opening night of their Royalty Tour at Live Nation’s Coral Sky Amphitheater in West Palm Beach on July 11.

At their sold-out Thursday night tour opener, Blige and NAS rewarded those who came out to support them on a steamy South Florida night where the heat combined with high humidity kept loyal fans of the music power duo anxiously awaiting the start their highly anticipated performance.

Although announced as an 8:00 p.m. start time with no opening act, Blige and NAS didn’t take the stage until a little after 8:30. It wasn’t clear how and if the delay affected the set list, but in the end it didn’t matter. What was about to take place was a noteworthy spectacle by one of the most empowering and influential voices in the women’s movement and a man whose lyrics sparked movements in social standing for those who listened. It clearly demonstrates why Blige and NAS continue to sell out shows. The lights dipped, and it was time to witness the Grammy Award nominee and nine-time winner Mary J. Blige and 13-time Grammy nominee NAS take the stage. The duo opened with their emotional, yet inspiring collaborative track “Thriving.” This song in part celebrates both Mary J. Blige’s and NAS’ careers, whose first albums were released in 1994, connecting the two for this year’s tour celebration and 25 years since their initial album releases.

It was rumored that Blige, NAS and company had been in town for the past few days rehearsing and making final preparations for the well-publicized summer tour, which runs through September. Clearly, they didn’t disappoint. It was what everyone came for, including a well-produced show consisting of the brightest lights and an impressive sound system that brought out the very best of these legendary musical giants. Blige and NAS engaged the enlivened crowd from the first note to the final bow. The format worked well, with Blige and NAS taking turns on stage for a series of songs, while Blige changed outfits several times during her performance. True to the Queen of Hip Hop’s signature style, Blige’s thigh-high boots along with her bright outfits brought out the very best in her.

NAS – Photo: Rick Munroe MFN

With Mary J. Blige now if full groove, nearly most if not all of her fans sang along to several of her most recognized songs, including “Real Love,” “No More Drama,” “My Life,” “I Can Love You Better,” “You Remind Me,” and “I’m Going Down” from her extensive catalog of hits. She hasn’t sounded better, hitting the highest of highs, keeping everyone of their feet for nearly the two-and-a-half hour set. Equally impressive was NAS, who was on point with his melodramatic rap style sound keeping his fans head bouncing to every beat. NAS didn’t disappoint delivering fan-favorite songs “Thriving” (with Mary J. Blige), “Reach Out” (with Mary J. Blige), “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” “Halftime,” “N.Y. State of Mind”, “Life’s a Bitch”, “The World Is Yours”, “One Love”, “Hate Me Now”, “I Can”, “Nastradamus”, “Got Ur Self a Gun,” “Hot Boyz” (Remix), “Oochie Wallie,” “You Owe Me,” “Accident Murderers,” “The Message,” “Street Dreams,” “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That),” “Made You Look,” and “One Mic.” NAS smoothly sauntered about the stage like a panther looking for his prey.

Mary J. Blige – Photo: Rick Munroe MFN

As the night came to an end, for many it was a place to gather with friends to share a magical musical experience by two of the greatest. For others who had never seen Mary J. and NAS perform live, it was a chance to say that they were a part of something truly memorable. As the tour moves on, those who attend future dates will get a chance to decide for themselves what these artists mean to them. Clearly, Mary J. Blige hasn’t lost a step, and NAS still electrifies his audience.

Mary J. Blige & NAS Tour

July 13 – Tampa, FL @ Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater
July 16 – Atlanta, GA @ Cadence Bank Amphitheater at Chastain Park
July 20 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
July 21 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
July 24 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
July 25 – Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
July 28 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 31 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
August 2 – Houston, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 3 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater
August 6 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
August 9 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
August 14 – San Francisco, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater
August 20 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
August 22 – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion
August 25 – Tuscaloosa, AL @ Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
August 28 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
August 29 – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
August 31 – Syracuse, NY @ St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater
September 1 – Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center
September 8 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
September 10 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
September 12 – Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
September 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl

Mary J. Blige


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