CeeLo's “Love Train” tour makes a stop at The Orange Peel

CeeLo's “Love Train” tour makes a stop at The Orange Peel image

CeeLo Green's sleek, all black tour bus sat parked outside The Orange Peel on Wednesday as members of the Atlanta soul musician's crew prepared for the second stop of the retro themed “Love Train” tour.

The floor of the Peel rapidly filled up with fans who were clearly hyped up to party and dive into the soulful sounds that CeeLo had to offer. The funky festivities kicked off with opening band Escort, a New York based five piece disco act that got the crowd dancing. Escort lead singer, Adeline Michele, shot out high notes and busted sharp moves in her flashy patterned dress to the packed dance floor.

After the openers stepped off stage, it was only a short amount of time before the lights dimmed and you could feel CeeLo's presence in the air. The silhouette of a man making his way from stage right was pierced with glinting gold chains and a damn perfect set of teeth—CeeLo had arrived.

Excited fans in the front reached out to touch the man whose music career has spanned from Goodie Mob to Gnarls Barkley, to the successful solo career the 41-year-old musician has been enjoying as of late.

CeeLo asked Asheville how it was feeling that night and the crowd loudly answered back as CeeLo went into his first track. Thumping bass filled the room, and the few attendees that weren't dancing yet quickly changed their behavior. Besides a catchy catalog of personal hits, classic songs from Michael Jackson, Nirvana, and The Police worked their way into interludes between CeeLo's nostalgia themed performance.

If the music wasn't enough to make you feel like you were traveling through time CeeLo style, the mesmerizing lights that graced the stage were there to help. The crowd switched back and forth from being painted in all sorts of bright colors to amp up the party atmosphere that had overtaken The Orange Peel.

The concertgoers went “Crazy” for each track throughout the night and met the end of each song with roaring applause; but the biggest crowd pleaser was tucked away in the end. Right when the familiar introductory piano keys were heard, crowd members raised their middle fingers in the air and sang along to CeeLo's 2010 hit, “Fuck You.”

After a less expletive filled couple of songs, CeeLo told attendees how much he loved Asheville and was so appreciative that everyone came out to see him that night. The lights dimmed, a last few front row handshakes were had, and then the infectious energy CeeLo Green brought disappeared with him into the darkness that was stage right.

CeeLo Green's “Love Train” tour is chugging along the East Coast until March 12 with various stops ranging from New Orleans to Nashville. This marks CeeLo's first tour since his fifth studio album Heart Blanche was released last year.

Image Credit:
All photos by Holden Mesk of Asheville Music Guide