Robert Urban and Yolanda
live at EAST OF 8th Supper Club, Chelsea, NYC - Aug 16th, 2004
Robert Urban and Yolanda Rock East of Eighth - (254 West 23rd Street, at Eighth Ave.)
Review by JED RYAN - PM MAGAZINE
"East of Eighth. On Monday, August 16th, the restaurant welcomed talented and self-styled stars Robert Urban (Nominated for Outmusician of the Year 2004, and Winner of several Stonewall Society Awards) and Yolanda (Outmusician of the Year 2003).
Robert Urban has an affinity for classic rock-influenced, arena-style anthems; and gender warrior Yolanda performs original, autobiographical songs which explore gender expression as well as her own Southern roots. That night, we got to hear some classics such as Robert's cover of "Suffragette City", "Sympathy for the Devil" (with Yolanda's reworked lyrics: "I bombed the twin towers; 1,000s of people died in vain. I drove a tank held a generals rank, when the mid-east raged and the bodies stank..."), and "Salt of the Earth" ("Let's drink to the hard working people", Urban declared... and I couldn't agree more!), as well as a cover of Cyndi Lauper's underappreciated 1985 track "Money Changes Everything". This song has become a favorite of gay independent music artists; Cyndi Lauper should be thankful to us for keeping it alive.
Yolanda gave the crowd some of her favorite originals, including "Angels", "Alien Love Child", "Freedom", "Nice Girl", and and a tribute to her hometown Muscle Shoals, Alabama-- "the hit recording capital of the world". Yolanda also gave a helluva rendition of "Devil With a Blue Dress On". For a real treat, she took The Kink's "Lola" (FYI: This is the first hit song ever about a drag queen) and reworked it as "Yolanda" ("Yo-Yo-Yo-Yolanda!") Simply amazing.
The synergy and rapport between Urban and Yolanda is impressive, as was displayed during the blues-flavored "Lay all Your Love on Me", the ABBA cover that appears on the CD "ABBAlicious" (more about that later...). With guitar by Urban and powerful, hard-hitting vocals by Yolanda, the song is a scorcher.
Everybody who was coming in to East of Eighth expecting to get just a drink or a bite to eat was astonished. In no time, the lower level of the restaurant was packed, and passersby on 23rd street formed a small crowd outside to listen as well. Check out Yolanda and Robert Urban when you can. These two artists just might challenge any ideas you may hold about queer music".