Mary J Blige has made several stops in the Bay Area over the years, but next month's concert is particularly worth considering.
Her contribution to the trend of artists performing albums in their entirety is to present My Life, the seminal 1994 sophomore effort that brought enduring anthems like "Be Happy," "Mary Jane (All Night Long)," "You Bring Me Joy," and the Roy Ayers-sampling title track. She's had many hits, but these are some of the most beloved.
Blige has grown tremendously since the release of this album, including kicking a well-publicized addiction to drugs and alcohol and opening a center for women in New York in 2009. Improbable as it may sound, the growth in her vocal control is audible as well -- My Life performed onstage could be just as good, if not better, than the recording. And since Blige plans to release the anticipated My Life II album in November, we wouldn't be shocked if she threw a little taste of that in the show, too.Presale tickets ($59.50-119.50) for the Nov. 11 gig at Oakland's Fox Theater start at 10 a.m. on Thursday (Oct. 20); use the password "life." Also, be aware that if you attend the show and don't know all the words to My Life, everyone around will be happy to cover for you.