Growing up listening to iconic Chaka Khan, I still remember fondly rolling the windows down and belting “Through the Fire” during one of those please-erase-all-memories Spring Break trips. It’s no surprise that seeing her in concert for the first time was just as exhilarating as hearing her sing/scream her chart-topping songs. Had a rare opportunity to not only witness first-hand the beehive of activity it requires to put on a concert for a legendary artist but also to interview the main players in the vast operation.
In conjunction with one of my partners, Best of Atlanta Concerts (bestofatlantaconcerts.com) we went backstage at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre to interview the concert promoter, opening act, band members and backup singers to see what it takes to put on a concert for a legendary singer. It is immense and intense. There are roadies, techies, and lots of sound checks. Not to mention surprise guest Ms. Chaka Khan herself during the sound check – I couldn’t tell you what it looked like because we were required to clear the room when she rehearsed but from outside the red patron doors – she sounded incredible.
Though it was her first show after voluntarily checking into rehab, Chaka Khan sounded like her patented gold-mine diva self! With her eggplant-hued mane, shimmery black outfit she twirled the crowd into a frenzy singing all her fan favorites. It was a great experience to talk with her long-time band bassist who has been touring with her for over 20 years. But the crème de la crème was interviewing her backup star singer, Audrey Wheeler-Downing who sang a little bit of “Through the Fire” for camera. It was an amazing experience.