Lenny Kravitz | photo by Jamie Stow for WXPN
Lenny Kravitz proves he’s still a rockstar force to be reckoned with at The Met
Lenny Kravitz has a palpable rockstar energy, and you can feel it whether you’re pressed against the back wall of The Met or sitting three feet away from him. He’s a legend whose influence branches across all aspects of funk, soul, and rock, and his charisma will touch you whether you’ve been a decades-long fan or not. The Raise Vibration Tour solidifies his top-tier rank among artists who know exactly how to work a room and refresh classic hits that have been played hundreds of times.
Following the release of 2018’s Raise Vibration LP, Kravitz embarked on a lengthy global tour, and The Met was lucky enough to host the Philadelphia stop to a packed, die-hard audience. Fans of Kravitz are never just passive listeners, and they throw back all the love he delivers on stage times ten.
The setlist opened with “We Can Get It All Together,” the first track on Raise Vibration, which is really the only way to do this tour, if you ask me. He then effortlessly transitioned into one of his most notable songs from his entire discography, “Fly Away,” and strutted around the stage decked in a leather jacket and those staple Kravitz sunglasses. Everything about him screams “COOL.”
Out of the 21-song set, there were two covers, and all I know is that I need a recorded version of this moment ASAP. The band played The Guess Who’s “American Woman,” which he did on an Austin Powers soundtrack in the late 90s and then seamlessly transformed all the heavy rock energy into a slow-moving reggae cover of The Wailers’ “Get Up, Stand Up,” while still singing “American Woman.” I wasn’t expecting any covers from Kravitz at all, but this was absolutely one of the highlights of the set.
He’s got such an effortless way about everything he does, which makes each performance that much more encapsulating. The way he moves with a guitar is like it’s just an extension of his body. Kravitz also took time to address the crowd, always an advocate for loving one another and experiencing each other in the moment. While he still had everyone in that headspace, he slowly dove into “Stillness of Heart,” which was definitely my favorite song of the night. He made this one a really unifying moment between himself and the audience, and he let us sing the chorus over and over and over for him. It was beautiful, and faded perfectly into “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” to get the crowd back on its feet.
A Lenny Kravitz show is truly an experience. He has endless music to choose from, and though this tour specifically promotes Raise Vibration, he knows what audiences want to hear, and he saves some of the best stuff for the end. “Are You Gonna Go My Way” was one of the closers, followed by a double encore of “Here to Love” and “Let Love Rule.” The overwhelming takeaway is that love rules. He makes that known and he makes sure you feel it.
The Raise Vibration Tour will continue through North America, with stops in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, before heading out west through this fall.