There were moments during the Isley Brothers' show on Saturday at the Greek Theatre when one felt like an eavesdropper on someone else's love affair.
The mid-portion of its act was devoted to the appearance of Angela Winbush, a sultry singer with an impressive vocal range who recently married group leader Ronald Isley. On Saturday their passionate embraces on stage were as hot as the temperature itself at the outdoor theater.
In a career that spans more than 30 years, the Isleys have written enough good music to keep themselves and at least two or three other acts in business. While "Love Is a Wonderful Thing," the song at the center of their recent legal bout with Michael Bolton, was not performed, the trio drew the wildest applause for two of the oldest songs in its repertoire, "Twist and Shout" and "Shout."
While Ronald Isley seemed to be struggling with throat problems for much of the evening, Winbush was in fine form. Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton are better-known singers, but Winbush is their equal, particularly when armed with an emotion-packed ballad like "Angel."
The underrated Bobby Womack opened the bill with a lean and efficiently performed set that was long on old-school finesse. Womack is a waste as anybody's opening act. He's worthy of headliner status, as he ably proved on Saturday.