Richmond, VA – The Tin Pan was at near capacity and the crowd was anxiously awaiting the entrance of Ana Popovic. As her band, consisting of Buthel Burns (bass), Jeremy Thomas (keyoards), Kwesi Robinson (drums), Evan Knight (sax), and Jordan Carr (trumpet), took the stage and jammed some little funky entrance music, the well-nourished and ready to jam crowd starting moving to the music.
When Ana appeared, shouldering her signature ’64 Strat and jamming to “If Tomorrow Was Today” from her 2016 album, Trilogy, she set the tone. Out of the gate, she was showing us that she was going to give a funk, and based on the body language in the crowd, everyone was ready to take it.
Anyone who was familiar with her previous tours immediately noticed a change. Rather than her hair flowing to the beat, she had donned a bolero hat. It looked great on her and added an additional flair to her funky style when she asked us, “Can You Stand the Heat“?
One theme you will see in any Ana performance is her appreciation for her band and her closeness to long time bassist, Buthel. I have seen her perform three times and Buthel has always helped maintain her strong funky foundation (and it looks like he has fun!). Multiple solos and jams from all were prominent throughout and it was a blast to watch (and hear). There was plenty of funk to go around as they went into “Object of Obsession“. Ana can make those strings cry.
I believe their newest member is drummer, Kwesi Robinson, and he appeared to be having the time of his life. The way he was funkin’ around on the skins, it was like he had been playing with them for years! Bravo Kwesi!!
After a few more pieces, including “Love You Tonight“, “Long Road Down“, and “New Coat of Paint“, Ana wasn’t content with giving us a little better love, she had to give us “Mo’ Better Love” (great song) and yes, it made the funkin’ world go ’round! The energy in the room was through the roof by this time. “The Last Thing I Do” was next, but it was far from the last thing she did that night!
“Brand New Man” (an anthem for those men who want to change the women in their lives… ) followed and, well, looking around the room, it was apparent some men felt a little uneasy… as maybe they should. She then went into the title track of the same album, “I Like It on Top“; and on top she was.
The best funkin’ night of the year to date finished off with “Lasting Kind of Love” and “We Can Change the World“. Yes Ana, you have changed the world. As the crowd filtered out, you could hear the excitement in their voices, as it was obvious her music had touched them in a special way. What made the end of the evening very special was, as many artists do at the Tin Pan, her willingness to hang out in the lobby to chat and autograph merch. She took time to listen and talk to each person who wished to share their own Ana story (and there were a lot). It was an awesome funkin’ show to say the least!
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Ana Popovic Setlist
If Tomorrow Was Today
Can You Stand The Heat
Object of Obsession
Love You Tonight
Long Road Down
New Coat of Paint
Mo’ Better Love
Last Thing I Do
Brand New Man
Like It on Top
Lasting Kind Of Love
We Can Change the World
Show Date: February 2, 2022
Want to see more? Check out this video!!