If you need proof that real love still exists, go to a Charlie Wilson concert.

If you need proof that showmanship is still important, go to a Charlie Wilson concert.

If you need proof that R&B is still alive and prospering, go to a Charlie Wilson concert.

Being a product of the 21st century means that I’m more than appreciative of the rapid evolution that music, especially R&B, has experienced.

I’ve touched base with others on the gray area in which the genre has situated itself at times, and it’s a gray area that has birthed some of this century’s most memorable tracks.

But every so often—and it happens to the best of us—we get an itch.

We turn off Trapsoul, Starboy and all the other genre-bending staples of the 2010s, and dive deep into a rabbit hole of what is undeniably R&B.

Charlie wilson in it to win it

Photo by Milca Pierre

It’s without a doubt that Uncle Charlie almost always finds himself in that mix. And after he took to the stage before a sold-out crowd in Atlanta’s Phillips Arena at the top of the month [March 4, 2017], it was clear where the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” first originated.

It was in the beginning of February that the veteran crooner kicked off his “In It to Win It” tour alongside favorites Fantasia and Johnny Gill, a supplement to Wilson’s eighth studio album of the same name.

Charlie Wilson has proven time and time again that he is the formula, and his March 4th tour stop was no exception to the fact.

From the moment he stepped on stage, an experience was crafted.

It began with the first chord played and didn’t end until the final note was sung as over 13,000 fans were treated to a journey, travelling through a catalogue that, at some point in time, has served as a soundtrack for us all.

From “Party Train” to “There Goes My Baby” and the quintessential “Charlie, Last Name Wilson”, everyone had at least one track to sing along to word for word, a reality that translates into the relevance of Mr. Wilson, a living legend.

Quite frankly, Charlie Wilson knows how to put on a show. Flashy costume changes, bustling backup dancers, an animated horn section, and his ability to make every man in the room serenade their woman with no questions asked was proof of that.

If you weren’t too much of a fan before, a glimpse of his artistry in person is the remedy.

So once more I decree: If you need proof that R&B is still alive and prospering, go to a Charlie Wilson concert.

I’d never steer you wrong.