A cold night in November heated up at The Emporium in Patchogue on Friday night. Party 105 along with Vic Latino hosted Freestyle Extravaganza: Thanksgiving Edition and produced four of the biggest stars freestyle has to offer: Lisette Melendez, Coro, Noel and Judy Torres a.k.a. the Queen of Freestyle. The Emporium was alive!
Freestyle music a.k.a. club music spread its roots in the 1980s. Freestyle was heard in markets like New York, Miami and Los Angeles. In New York, the hot spots were places like Silver Screens in Astoria, The Devil’s Nest in the Bronx and the Paradise Garage in the Lower East Side. Most of us remember labels like Mic Mac, Tommy Boy, Metropolitan and Cutting Records. This was the buzz in areas like Bay Ridge, LES, Tribeca, and Astoria and Ridgewood, Queens. For many of us, freestyle is a return to a time before mortgages, kids, and major responsibilities.
2013 Freestyle Explosion: Thanksgiving Edition Performances at The Emporium
Lisette Melendez at The Emporium
Lisette Melendez stirred up the crowd with hits like “Together Forever” and “A Day In My Life,” which were two singles that gave freestyle life through the early 90s. Melendez helped usher Freestyle through the early 90’s when she release those singles. “Together Forever” peaked at #35 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Coro at The Emporium
Coro brought his classics to the stage, performing “Where Are You Tonight,” “My Fallen Angel” and “Can’t Let You Go.” The Latin freestyle singer had a powerful presence on stage. Coro made me miss the days of cruising Franny Lew or Bensonhurst 86th Street.
Judy Torres at The Emporium
Judy Torres headlined the event. She is every inch a headliner! Starting with her best, she performed “No Reason to Cry” which remains a freestyle anthem! It is no mistake “No Reason to Cry” is an anthem, everything she does has the anthem quality to it! When she performed “Come into my Arms,” The Emporium exploded in applause. Her finale of “Faithfully” by Journey had the crowd singing in unison! (Amazing.)
Freestyle is not dead. It has more than a pulse, it’s thriving. Forget a moment of genres or labels, this is good music. It doesn’t get lumped into the category of 80’s pop like Bananarama or George Michaels so it doesn’t get the airplay or love these artists receive.
The Emporium is hosting a freestyle show December 30, 2013. Rockell, Soave, Pajama Party, the talented George LaMond and the crowned jewel of freestyle TKA are scheduled to perform. This is going to be epic — do not miss this!