Jody-Watley-Shalamar

*What does a woman do when she gets a last-minute call to sub for a recovering Chaka Khan at the California State Fair?

If you’re the legendary Jody Watley, you do what legends do: you take the stage and shut it down…in a black catsuit, no less!

Watley started with a declaration wrapped in one of the original Shalamar’s earliest hits: “I Can Make You Feel Good.” She and her new bandmates Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy, who formed Shalamar Reloaded last year, more than kept that promise with a first set that included a few other late 70s anthems including “In The Socket,” “Take That To The Bank,” and the group’s first smash, “The Second Time Around.”

Watley paused for a moment to offer a “prayer for healing” for Khan, who had to cancel her scheduled performance at the fair as she battles substance addiction. Afterward, Watley and Shalamar Reloaded eased into a subdued, sultry version of the classic “Full Of Fire” before treating the crowd to two original tunes, “Slow Dance” and “O.R.I.G.In.A.L.,” both of which hold up to anything that Watley or any incarnation of Shalamar has ever done.

Read more of Michael P. Coleman’s Review at EURThisNthat.