I was lucky enough to be in Minneapolis this weekend for Prince's 3-day album release party and the highlight, since Prince didn't play (which I will rant about in a separate post), was definitely Portland-based singer Liv Warfield. No cameras allowed in Paisley Park (ever), unfortunately, so I don't have pictures from the show.
Liv Warfield is the real deal. Amazing singer, charismatic, high energy performer, ability to attract an incredibly talented band, and absolutely gorgeous to boot... I don't use the word "incredible" lightly but her performance at Paisley Park on September 5th was exactly that.
I'll call the genre of her music "headbanger funk" - funky bass beats and soulful vocals with some downright metal guitar riffs. Although there was of course some R&B and a smooth jazz ballad or two, as well. Really, her music spans several genres.
Her backup singers are as talented as she is - so much so that when one of them did a sort of bee bop (doo wop?) solo, Prince ran on the stage to give her props (one of the only appearances he would make the entire weekend). While I definitely loved all of Liv's songs and she is the quintessential frontwoman, I think my favorite bit was she left the stage and her backup singers did a few covers, particularly a funky/metal cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" that was part of an epic, longer medley. After a while, Liv came back on and joined the song and Prince must have loved it too because it was during the latter part (not sure what the later songs were) of this epic cover medley though that Prince made his second appearance and took the guitar from the guitar player and played for a minute (back faced to the audience the whole time...). So technically I guess I did get to see Prince play live. Technically (*frustrated eye roll*)
Anyway, definitely check her/them out. They played Sunday, as well, and were just as good, but the set was very similar. There was a longer sort of jam-out session in which each of the instrumentalists got to play lengthy solos, which was cool. They're all amazingly talented. And they aren't too hard on the eyes either... I think she referred to her band as Blackbird but I can't find any info on them and I don't think they're really permanent per se or recording under that name (and to make the Googleability harder, she has a song called Blackbird).