It's the first time I've had an opportunity to see Patti LaBelle perform live, & she delivered a festive performance for the enthusiastic near-capacity crowd on UT-Tyler's campus Thursday night. 

Supported by a 7-piece band & 3 backup singers, the 73-year-old veteran of more than a half-century as a professional singer kept her fans engaged from start to finish during the 90-minute set.  Blending titles she helped make famous such as "On My Own" & "If I Asked You To" with songs from her latest album (jazz-based), as well as covers of other familiar favorites like "If You Don't Know Me By Now" & "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", LaBelle showed she's still got vocal range & power that defies the reality of time.  To illustrate how she had the crowd in the palm of her hand, Patti enticed 4 "mature gentlemen" in the house to join her on stage for a comedy-infused song & dance rendition of her biggest hit "Lady Marmelade".  When the evening ended, Patti LaBelle's audience left the Cowan Center smiling!

If you missed the show & would like another opportunity to see her on stage, Patti LaBelle returns to the East Texas area Memorial Weekend, performing at Bossier City's Horseshoe Casino on May 27th.