At the crossroads of the world - a.k.a. Times Square - sits B.B. King's, a club that attracts musicians of every genre, from jazz to pop. I've seen The Kinks and a tribute to the late Wilson Pickett here. The occasion for last night's visit? R&B sensation Mario.
I became acquainted with Mario earlier this year, during his electrifying stint on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." As the show's youngest-ever competitor (he's 21), he ignited the floor with energetic charm, sexy moves and sizzling chemistry with partner Karina Smirnoff.
It was standing room only at the concert. Before the show, I wedged myself into a spot at the crowded bar and indulged in some popcorn shrimp and fries, complimented by a smooth glass of Chardonnay. The shrimp was basted in a zesty lime vinaigrette. Sinfully high in calories, sinfully pleasing to the palette.
Finally, Mario took the stage, blazing through every song and enchanting his audience every step of the way. His 75-minute set was a seamless mix of recent hits and covers -- including silky smooth renditions of "Sexual Healing" and "Human Nature" that had all of us grooving right along with him.
In celebration of his recent big birthday, Mario toasted us with a glass of champagne, his first alcoholic beverage on stage. Cheers!
The show ended on a high note, with Mario's two biggest hits (and my favorites in his repertoire) -- "Crying Out For Me"and "Let Me Love You." Everyone, myself included, was belting out every word. It was no surprise then, when Mario declared,
"Ain't no place like New York!"