Judging by the rambunctious way they hit the Constitution Hall stage last night--screaming, shouting and kicking their heels skyward--one would have thought that the name of this five-member group of crooning rhythm & blues vocalists was a misnomer.
But it was nice to see the Whispers dish out a dazzling menu of their soulful delicacies. Fans of old would be pleased to know that these crooning birds are no longer the drab performers who once were content with sitting on a tree branch as they harmonized. They now take you on a flight.
Celebrating 15 years of self-styled, laid-back music akin to the O'Jays or the Manhattans, the San Francisco-based Whispers seemed bent on proving that they not only maintain a stronghold in the ballad business but now have gained a firm command on the ever-so-popular party music called "funk."
The Whispers, clad in black velvet jackets and white slacks, with white flowers pinned to their lapels, complemented each other on stage, especially when they sang their mellow melodies while scatting and adding sharp, resonant "doobie, doobie, doobie, baby" background vocals in such selections as "Love Is Where You Find It."
But because of the distraction created by one wildly dancing, bushy-haired and bearded Whisper, Nicholas Caldwell, it was difficult at times to appreciate the group's otherwise polished tone and choreography.
Thanks mainly to twins Walter and Wallace (Scottie) Scott, the performance was spectacular overall. Once, during a duet rendition of "Lady," the Scotts seemed to sing with one set of dynamic vocal chords.
Besides hearing the appetizing harmony of the singers, who were well-accompanied by their 10-piece band, it was satisfying to just watch them enjoy their music--a key factor in moving a crowd and making a concert a memorable experience, which this was. The Whispers could've added punch to anyone's Memorial Day weekend.