“One more, one more, one more,” the crowd at Honey chanted after music artist Ellis Cleve performed his final song, which was a cover to Montell Jordan’s classic hit, “This Is How We Do It.”
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Last Saturday, Oct. 25, St. Paul native Cleve performed with a full live band at Honey, in Minneapolis. Cleve’s band included a piano, guitar, a set of drums and bass player with one individual being responsible for each of those elements to make his music come to life. Among the members of his band was Cleve’s father John Richardson.
Richardson was the opening act of the concert. Richardson played bass and sung while being accompanied with a guitar. When his son Cleve came to the stage the two played together as Cleve sung, rapped and emceed to keep the crowd entertained. Richardson said he loves performing with his son as it’s something that amazing him.
“It’s a surreal experience because you find yourself wrapped up into what you’re doing and you look up and realize, ‘oh, that’s my son,’” Richardson said. “I haven’t really gotten used to that yet.”
Cleve opened with a cover to Iggy Azalea’s hit song Fancy. He later performed his original pieces including Minneapolis Girl,a song he published a YouTube video for last month. Cleve also inserted a little comedy with his performance during transitions to keep the crowd engaged weather it was his dance moves or his punchlines.
His drummer Jake Nyberg said Cleve’s energy and personality are two reasons why he likes to perform live with Cleve.
“I love playing with Ellis. Ellis has an energy as a songwriter, as an emcee, that is really contagious. Playing with him is really a treat,” Nyberg said.
In attendance watching the performance of Cleve and his band at Honey, included members of the Richardson family tree and some of Cleve’s college friends back when he was a student Hamline University.
Long time college friend of Cleve, Sara Holland came to the event with two other mutual friends: Jess Kociscak and Kaitlyn Frenchich. Holland explained they were all teammates of Cleve under Hamline University’s Cross Country program and the Track and Field program.
Frenchich said Cleve’s performance brought back memories.
“When he sings everyone gets involved, he’s so energetic. I remember at practice he would start singing and everyone would start busting out move[s],” Frenchick said.
Kociscak said her favorite part of the event was seeing both father and son, Richardson and Cleve perform together.
“Him and his dad singing together was awesome,” Kociscak said.
Cleve’s performance continued to draw praise from the audience as they sang along, laughed with him and chanted for him to sing one more song when the band was packing up on stage.
“We loved it, we love Ellis,” Holland said.
Cleve said overall he was excited to perform at Honey and he was content with the turnout.
“The performance was fun, it was good to get the people out and get the people jumping, it’s fun. I like seeing old friends come out,” Cleve said.
Cleve said he also liked performing with his live band rather than performing to pre-recorded beats because it allows them to make adjustments as they’re performing and keeps things more spontaneous which Cleve loves.
Cleve said he will be look to perform at Honey again as it’s one of his favorite locations for performing.
“It was good being in Northeast Minneapolis. I love this area of town, I love Honey; so it was great to be back,” Cleve said.