party on the staged block
Last evening I was privy to breathe the essence of some very talented people. Actually talented is an understatement when thinking of these individuals; Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Mint Condition, DJ Jazzy Jeff and hip-hop idol Doug E. Fresh. If I had to sum the show up on one hand I would definitely give it a 10. Yup, a 10 on one hand.
For starters, Jeff opened and had probably been spinning for at least a half hour prior to the show. He was his usual intense and versatile self as he slid the turntables between old skool soul and hip-hop then back to 80’s pop with a sprinkle of funkadelic. He did his thing for sure. Secondly, the start of the show was timely and Mint Condition opened and closed in the same manner which was the perfect continuance for the mood. Cuts from their newly released album “7” were introduced and old favorites like “Pretty Brown Eyes” lullabied most of us right back into the 90’s. Afterwards, the crowd got a very hearty look at one of the most soulful cats in the game right now, Anthony Hamilton. His backdrop featured a lifelike sign that read “Hamilton Street” and had an old fashioned cedar paneled door with a stoop. Mr. Hamilton’s background singers, who were just as soulful and helped capture that downhome feel, later sat on that very stoop and doo wopped the audience for a moment or two. Ending his segment he turned the crowd out with “Praying for you” and eventually segwayed that right into a church song that had most folk standing on their feet waving their hands in rejoice. Although I am not a Christian, the move was striking and very touching. Next, Jeff would return but this time with a greater concentration of Doug E. Fresh. I have to say, Doug E. so still has it to me. He did veriations of the Doug E dance for the perfect crowd pleaser and paid homage to DJ Jazzy Jeff and his legacy. Jeff in turn recycled that energy and did a mini set in tribute to the greatest, Michael Jackson, whom we celebrate on today. All this to lead everyone in the room to the capivating Queen of the hour, Ms. Jill Scott.
Jill was flawless as usual. So flawless that I don’t even remember her opening song. (Shame) I was much to tied up into the immediate “boom” of her song. She followed suit but in her own melodic way and made sure to touch on old and new to form a solid arrangement. Her performance was superb and she topped it all cherry with the ever so elegant encore of “He Loves Me” with a boistrous opera contribute midstream that shut everything down and everyone up. It was amazing.
All in all, I walked away with such a feeling inside. Proud to be a writer, proud to be a vocalist but better than it all proud to have experienced such alive and well. To be an artist with magnitude. I salute them all.