MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly Rock the 'House for Founder's Week

Date Released: February 24, 2017

The Morehouse College Founder’s week activities provided much more this year than in past celebrations, as 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the College’s birth. For many of those alumni making the trek back to campus last Friday evening, it became a trip back to the future and for the younger alumni, a fortunate moment to experience some “Happy Feelings,” by witnessing one of the last concerts of the iconic group MAZE Featuring Frankie Beverly. 

As attendees took their seats in the packed Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel they listened politely and patiently through two opening acts, up-and-comers QTZ and MarkUsFree. But moments later abandoning their seats, the crowd jumping to their feet with boisterous cheers and applause welcoming Frankie Beverly in his trademark baseball cap. He and his long time band MAZE wore their traditional casual white gear and began playing their iconic beats while the audience sang along uttering every single word to Beverly’s 1993 hit “Laid Back Girl.

Beverly quickly turned to a moment of activism, reminding his audience that it would be up to the people to right the ship of a desolate political era in the country’s history that was born out of the 2016 presidential campaign. “If we’re to change this madness, we are gonna have to take a stand. We can make it better. No one else will do it. It’s up to me and you. We got to try to keep it strong, if it takes us all night long,” he sang.

For most of the crowd, it was not their first, or even their fifth time attending a Maze and Frankie Beverly concert. Beverly’s legendary followers have been faithful for nearly 50 years 

Few concert-goers in the front rows ever sat down and if they did, they appeared to be involuntarily ejected from their yielding seats again and again as soon as they identified a familiar sound erupting from the band. Couples even danced in the aisles to MAZE’s series of hits. 

Then, the music stopped. But, the crowd did not.  They chanted “Frankie! Frankie!” Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. tried to quiet the crowd to make a special presentation.

“MAZE and Frankie Beverly concerts aren’t attended, they are experienced,” exclaimed Wilson as he read from the Presidential Citation of Merit he presented the singer.  Although Beverly has received numerous accolades, he appeared emotional upon receiving the Morehouse honor. However, once the presentation was complete, the 70-year-old went back into performer mode, getting the crowd back on their feet as he sang “Running Away.”

Last Modified: June 8, 2017, 13:06 PM, by: Synera Shelton

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