Mary J. Blige
Nov. 11, 2011
Fox Theater, Oakland
Better than: Playing the My Life recording through a haze of tears.
The trend of artists presenting whole albums in the live setting continues to proliferate, and the format can have its limitations. But Mary J. Blige's 1994 sophomore album My Life is a natural choice, because it's packed with hits and stands as a cohesive whole project.
Blige took several moments on Friday to reflect on what the album means both to her and her listeners, casting it as a tool to navigate the trials and tribulations of heartache and depression. “I just can't explain the impact,” she said. “The things that you'll never know you pulled me out of …” She expressed sincere gratitude to her audience. “If it wasn't for you, I'd still be living in the projects. I'd still have nothing. You gave me everything!”