D’Angelo at First Avenue 9/6/2015


Neo soul singer D’Angelo hit the US charts in 1995 with his debut album Brown Sugar at #22, Voodoo at #1 in 2000 and then retreated form the public (except for some singles). His “surprise” 2014 CD Black Messiah, promptly returned him to the top ten. Black Messiah was well received by fans and critics. His “Second Coming” tour finally made its way to First Avenue yesterday. The show has been sold out pretty much since tickets went on sale.

First Ave was packed, the AC struggled to keep up with the punishing humidity and the show was running an hour behind schedule. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? The crowd was actually pretty friendly, openers LP Music jammed their hearts out and I swear someone said: “It could be worse, it could be snowing”.

Once D’Angelo hit the stage, all those gripes were forgotten. The opening sequence concluded with the band’s backs to the audience and arms raised in dramatic fashion. From there D’Angelo took over showing that he has retained the great stage presence that made him a star in the 90s. All the elements of a classic soul band were in place and worked well together. The key ingredient was D’Angelo himself, he seemed to be having a blast and fed on the audience having a great time as well.

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D’Angelo’s vocal range is impressive he moved from tenor to falsetto seemingly without effort. His interactions with the band also were fun to watch. This was my first time covering a Soul concert and I left deeply impressed. Every single person at First Ave had a great time and that’s a hell of a way to spend Sunday night.

Set List:
Ain’t That Easy
Vanguard Theme
Betray My Heart
Spanish Joint
Claire Fisher Interlude
Really Love
The Charade
Brown Sugar
Sugah Daddy
Left and Right
Chicken Grease
What it do
Untitled (How Does It Feel)

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