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Indaba Nights kicks off its 2024 concert season in explosive style

By June 7, 2024No Comments3 min read


img 4096Indaba Nights, the community-friendly, fully accessible concert series co-hosted by St. Ann Center at the Indaba Band Shell, kicked off its 2024 season with a large and enthusiastic crowd and a dynamite performance by Showdown, featuring Tony TNT Washington and his Explosive Divas.

Bolstered by beautiful weather and the crowd’s very evident glee at the start of summer concert season — the 6th for Indaba Nights — even the band’s first notes were met with cheers. And as the Divas’ soulful, sultry songs took hold, the crowd began grooving in their seats, on the sidewalks, on the grassy hillside beyond the band shell and beside the stage, where they could get a better look at this popular, longtime Milwaukee band. After 45 minutes, the band and the Divas took a break, giving the crowd an opportunity to sample food and drink options on either side of the band shell, talk with friends and enjoy the last of the evening’s warm sunshine.

Indaba Bandshell crowd

And then it was time for TNT to explode onstage. Clearly elated to entertain the enthusiastic crowd, Washington burst forth from the stage curtain in dapper black pants and spats, and a slinky red shirt open far enough to display a host of gleaming gold necklaces and occasionally slide from Washington’s shoulders to the delight of some ladies in the crowd.

Boasting dance moves that would make someone half his age have trouble getting out of bed the next morning, and an ever-present smile that left zero doubt about how much fun he was having, Washington quickly offered up the jokey through-line for this performance. 90 percent of the songs were “dedicated to my wife,” of which there comically appeared to have been many, before Washington and his crew launched into one after another blistering R&B burner about love gone wrong for better or worse.

Tony TNT WashingtonMultiple duets allowed the talented Divas to sass back, in one case driving Washington to his knees to beg “forgiveness” before leaping back to his feet and doubling over with happiness. And during another scorching jam, Washington sent a Diva into the audience with the microphone so willing crowd members — a number showstoppers in their own right — could take their turn at the chorus.

The crowd was still in place as yet another storm rolled in close to the show’s advertised end time, but well before anyone seemed ready to give up the good times. The rain began to fall, but nothing could douse the fiery success of Indaba Nights’ spectacular kickoff.

Next Wednesday at Indaba (a Zulu word for peacemaking) Nights, emerging Blues star Stephen Hull takes the stage at 6:30pm. Click here for the full summer schedule and visit our Facebook page for news, updates, photos from our 2024 Indaba Ball which helps fund the band shell and Indaba Nights. For more information please contact Special Events Director Gloria Miller at 414-210-2428.

Indaba Nights is also made possible by our wonderful sponsors:

Enjoy more images from Showdown, featuring Tony TNT Washington and his Explosive Divas at the opening night of Indaba Nights (click for full image)!


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