Falsetto singing is like dessert; it can be the perfect crowning touch to a song. But an evening of nothing but falsetto is like a meal of nothing but rich French pastry: Too much sweetness gets tiresome after awhile.
This was the problem with Eddie Kendricks' show at the Warner Theatre Saturday night. Kendricks sang falsetto with the same relaxed control that other singers enjoy two octaves lower, but the narrow, emotional range of such high-register singing could not sustain the whole set.
The only exception came when Kendricks sang a medley of old Temptations' songs. He was once the high tenor in that group, but there his voice was balanced by the Temptations' four lower voices. Saturday, backup singers Janet Wright and Maude Mobley picked up the lower part on the old Motown hits and made them the highlight of the evening. But on Kendricks' post-'72 solo hits, Wright and Mobley receded into the background and the balance evaporated.
In the opening act, Curtis Mayfield's protege Linda Clifford sang with spirit and flair if little originality. She belted out well-crafted soul tunes by Mayfield and Gil Askey with an enjoyable though not extraordinary gospel-tinged snap.
Saturday night's show started an hour late, after the third scheduled act, the Delfonics, didn't show up.