D'Angelo

Bluesfest 2016 – Embracing Contemporary Hip Hop, Soul & Jazz Of The Highest Order

Blessed be lovers of innovative contemporary hip hop, R&B, funk and jazz music for the gift of consecutive live performances by Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Kamasi Washington and Hiatus Kaiyote on the one stage at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016.

Hiatus Kaiyote live concert - Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016

Hiatus Kaiyote

Kamasi Washington live concert 2016

Kamasi Washington

Kendrick Lamar live concert - Bluesfest 2016 - Australia

Kendrick Lamar

D'Angelo And The Vanguard concert 2016

D’Angelo

If you’re one of those music lovers you’ll know that every single one of the many musicians and vocalists who performed on stage with those artists on Thursday and Saturday nights (minus Kendrick Lamar on Saturday) are amongst the most skilful, talented and innovative creators of funkified jazz and soul music in the world right now. Having been influenced by and collaborating on each others’ music projects, all of them were in perfect company together on the main stage. And anyone lucky enough to be there would have found themselves in musical heaven – mesmerised by each and every sublime sound delivered by those artists.

Hiatus Kaiyote

As musical creators Melbourne’s “future-soul” group Hiatus Kaiyote earned their place on a bill with Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Kamasi Washington and their accompanying artists. As live instrumentalists, vocalists and performers on stage in the flesh at Bluesfest, Hiatus Kayote undoubtedly demonstrated their rightful place amongst them to audiences made up of both punters and those contemporary music peers alike.

Hiatus Kaiyote live concert - Australia 2016

Hiatus Kaiyote at Bluesfest 2016

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As well as delivering a welcome acknowledgment of the passing of the great hip hop creator Phife Dawg during their Thursday set, Nai Palm (vocals/guitars/keys), Simon Mavin (keys/samples), Paul Bender (bass), Perrin Moss (drums) and their three background vocalists delivered two stunning sets of songs drawn mainly from Choose Your Weapon and including a new song on the video below, and as always; showed audiences their unique “multi-dimensional, polyrhythmic gangster” sound is at its most supreme when heard live.

Kamasi Washington

The inclusion of L.A-based saxophonist Kamasi Washington in the 2016 line-up was a welcome surprise after the cancellation of his first visit to Australia last year when Soulfest folded at the last minute.

Kamasi Washington live concert - Bluesfest 2016 Australia

Kamasi Washington at Bluesfest 2016

Each Bluesfest show Kamasi Washington performed with The Next Step / West Coast Get Down sounded unique. But both were definitely a family affair; a collective affair; and a humble and respectful one. Parts of Kamasi Washington’s recent jazz masterpiece The Epic were performed as well as some new music by him. But this was not a one-man Kamasi Washington show. It was a showcase of the sublime funkified jazz music and skills of all the incredible artists on stage with him who grew up playing music together. Everyone had their moments to shine during the sets and when it wasn’t their turn they listened, enjoyed, and appreciated what they heard from one other.

Ryan Porter and Kamasi Washington live concert 016

Ryan Porter w/ Kamasi Washington

Audiences were treated to the sounds of Kamasi Washington playing with his father Ricky Washington (who “taught him everything he knows”) on flute and with Ryan Porter (“one of his mentors”) on trombone; drum solos and drum-offs between Ronald Bruner Jr and Tony Austin; a jam between Kamasi Washington and Ronald Bruner Jr (“like they’ve being doing together since he got his first drum-kit at 3 years old”); a must-hear song “Abraham”  about to be released by double-bass player/vocalist Miles Mosley, and another from keyboardist Brandon Coleman; with vocals by Patrice Quinn (“the most beautiful voice he’s heard”).

Brandon Coleman live concert Australia 2016

Brandon Coleman

Miles Mosley live concert - Bluesfest 2016 Australia

Miles Mosley

Kamasi Washington & Ricky Washington live concert 2016

Ricky & Kamasi Washington

Ronald Bruner Jr live concert 2016

Ronald Bruner Jr

Tony Austin live concert Australia 2016

Tony Austin

Patrice Quinn live Australia 2016

Patrice Quinn

Kamasi Washington and the other artists who joined him on Australian stages undoubtedly gained a huge number of new admirers. Hopefully that brings any or all of them back again to play soon.

Check out snippets of video footage from Kamasi Washington’s two Bluesfest 2016 shows below and hear sample tracks from The Epic (2015) here.




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D’Angelo And The Vanguard

Accompanying D’Angelo at his Bluesfest shows were Jesse Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey on guitars, Chris “Daddy” Dave on drums, Rocco Palladino on bass, Bobby Ray Sparks on keys/samples and Jermaine Holmes and Charles “Red” Middleton on background vocals.

D'Angelo & Jesse Johnson live - Bluesfest 2016

D’Angelo & Jesse Johnson at Bluesfest 2016

Despite a curious set list taking audiences back to the glorious D’Angelo eras of Brown Sugar and Voodoowith only glimpses of the more recent ground-breaking album Black Messiah, D’Angelo and the 7 sublimely-skilled musicians and vocalists with him on stage delivered delightfully funky, soulful, rocked-out performances that were technically flawless.

D'Angelo concert - Bluesfest 2016, Australia

D’Angelo himself dazzled and seduced the crowd with his skills and artistry on guitar and piano, his contagiously-huge smile and his other-wordly vocal range. He left no doubt that he’s a musician, artist and performer of extraordinary genius in contemporary times, akin to the most legendary of funk, R&B and rock greats of our musical history.

D'Angelo concert - Bluesfest 2016, Australia

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Check out a video of the grammy-award winning Black Messiah song “Really Love”, performed live at Bluesfest on Saturday.


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Click here for more videos & photos from all 4 of D’Angelo’s Australian shows this time around.

Kendrick Lamar

Thankfully Bluesfest ignored any naysayers who questioned Kendrick Lamar headlining a festival that might have started as “blues and roots” 27 years ago – but long ago moved forward to expand it’s line-up for the musical good of the broader population.

Before Kendrick Lamar’s set I wondered how the complex musical wonder of To Pimp A Butterfly would translate in the live arena. But the Compton rapper brought a killer band on tour with him. That live instrumentation combined with the sharp and clear lyrical flow delivered by Kendrick Lamar with 100% passion and conviction, simply commanded attention and awe through every moment of the 75 minute set that flew by in a flash. From start to finish Kendrick Lamar made it abundantly clear that the experience of hearing his music performed live is profoundly more brilliant than the studio-version.

Kendrick Lamar live concert - Bluesfest 2016 - Australia

Kendrick Lamar at Bluesfest 2016

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Check out these video snippets from Kendrick Lamar’s Bluesfest show plus a sample track below from the newly-released album untitled unmastered (2016).

Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered (2016)x
Kendrick Lamar – untitled 02 | 06.23.2014 – untitled unmastered (2016)

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Bluesfest Appreciation

Byron Bay Bluesfest – this year was a dream.

In my book Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, The Vanguard, Kamasi Washington, The Next Step, West Coast Get Down and Hiatus Kaiyote are the artists in the world right now creating the freshest sounding, most innovative blends of funk, soul, R&B, hip hop and jazz. All except Hiatus Kaiyote (Melbourne-based), Bluesfest brought those artists a long way to deliver spectacular live performances on Australian shores.  In doing so they filled a big gap left by the cancellation of Soulfest – “Australia’s first annual neo-soul, jazz & hip hop festival” which didn’t make it to its second year.

Thanks go to Bluesfest for embracing those contemporary artists and delivering the most blessed of line-ups in 2016!

D'Angelo concert Australia 2016

D’Angelo

Hiatus Kaiyote live concert Australia 2016

Hiatus Kaiyote

Kendrick Lamar live concert - Bluesfest 2016 - Australia

Kendrick Lamar

Kamasi Washington live concert 2016

Kamasi Washington

Note: Despite feeling 100% satisfied by my Bluesfest 2016 experience, it was a limited one for sure. I went for 2 of 5 festival days, stayed at 1 of 6 festival stages and heard only 4 of 82 acts on the bill. A whole other world of music was happening over the five festival days – from Tom Jones to Allen Stone through to The Wailers – and a range of performing indigenous artists at the festival within the festival- Boomerang. I just can’t tell you about them here.

But you can check in to Beaver on the Beats on Facebook for more festival photos coming of D’Angelo, Hiatus Kaiyote, Kendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington. 🙂

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D’Angelo Live In Australia – One, Two, Three, Four

After experiencing the first three of D’Angelo’s four incredible Australian shows, I was mysteriously left feeling less than fully satisfied. It didn’t make sense when D’Angelo and The mini Vanguard touring with him had just delivered flawless, stunning performances to Melbourne, Sydney and Byron Bay Bluesfest audiences.

D'Angelo concert Australia 2016

#1 – Melbourne’s Palais Theatre

D'Angelo concert Australia 2016

# 2 – Sydney Opera House

D'Angelo live concert - Bluesfest 2016

# 3 – Byron Bay Bluesfest

 

 

 

 

 

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D’Angelo, Every Time

D’Angelo’s phenomenal vocal range and delivery as well as his skills on piano and guitar, are unquestionable. They are simply and absolutely sublime to hear live – every time.

D'Angelo concert Australia 2016

So is Michael “D’Angelo” Archer’s joyful high energy and super-smooth, confident engagement with the crowd. Man or woman, even if you only care about the sounds of music, who out there wouldn’t blush if D’angelo looked you in the eye and pointed at you while ever-so-naturally singing “I feel like makin’ love to you” in his voice from on high?

D'Angelo concert - Bluesfest 2016, Australia

At all his Australian shows D’Angelo undoubtedly demonstrated he’s a musician, artist and performer of equal wonder to the legendary R&B, funk and soul artists who influenced and shaped him. Some of them he payed tribute to in his sets (“She’s Always In My Hair” by Prince, “Red Hot Mama” by Funkadelic and “Brent Fischer Interlude” by Black Messiah collaborator Brent Fischer). D’Angelo does all those artists and their music justice, and then some. And how many contemporary artists can we say that about in 2016?

D'Angelo live concert Australia 2016

No I don’t think my slight and mysterious dissatisfaction was about D’Angelo’s performances. They made me smile from ear to ear in awe.

The [mini] Vanguard 

Did I miss hearing the distinctive bass sounds of Pino Palladino, the live horns and the gorgeous complementary female vocals of Kendra Foster or Joi Gilliam usually heard with The Vanguard? Sure I did. But their absence alone wasn’t leaving me with that feeling.

Because technically the seven insanely-skilled musicians on stage with D’Angelo played and sang almost flawlessly. Although he appeared nervous or daunted at times, Pino’s son Rocco Palladino did an admirable job on bass. And any opportunity to hear Chris “Daddy” Dave on drums, Jesse Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey on guitars, Bobby Ray Sparks on keys/samples or Jermaine Holmes and Charles “Red” Middleton on background vocals…is a blessed one I would gleefully take any time. They all killed it. And I appreciated hearing every note they played and sang on Australian stages.

D'Angelo concert Australia 2016

Chris Dave (l) – Isaiah Sharkey (m)

Jesse Johnson - D'Angelo & The Vanguard 2016

Jesse Johnson

Rocco Palladino with The Vanguard- Bluesfest 2016

Rocco Palladino

D'Angelo And The Vanguard concert Australia 2016

Bobby Sparks (r)

Jermaine Holmes - D'Angelo concert 2016

Jermaine Holmes

D'Angelo And The Vanguard concert Australia 2016

Red Middleton (l) – Chris Dave (m) – Isaiah Sharkey (r)

Looking Back

Was it the group’s set-list choices that left me wanting more? Maybe a little. In my world every song they played is a “Beloved Forever-After Song”. It’s true that all were arranged and delivered in funked-up, rocked-out, soulful brilliance. And hearing each one made me happy.

But a set made up of “Brown Sugar”; three/four jams on other artists’ songs, four/five songs from Voodoo (“Devil’s Pie”“Chicken Grease”“Untitled (How Does It Feel)”“Left & Right”, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”); and only three from Black Messiah (“The Charade”“Really Love”“Back To The Future”/ “Sugah Daddy” at Bluesfest)…curiously felt like a look back to the distant (albeit magnificent) past.

D'Angelo concert Australia 2016

Objectively the set choice might’ve been the safe bet when playing to Australian audiences made up of admirers from different D’Angelo eras. But for disciples who love every song he and his collaborators ever created, but appreciate the group’s artistry even more since the release of Black Messiah; and for newer disciples (including many young musicians there) because of Black Messiah, only hearing a small part of that album felt strange. Especially after they spent the past year promoting it through North America and Europe on The Second Coming Tour.

DAngelo - Black Messiah (2014)

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“Aint That Easy” – Black Messiah (2014)

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“The Show”

Maybe my mysterious feeling was about being delivered a “show”. I guess when you reach the professional playing levels D’Angelo And The Vanguard have, with their intense tour schedule performing show after show in different cities, having a pre-formulated, programmed “show” for perfect and tight execution on cue by a lot of musicians and crew might be more necessary, or pragmatic, or safer.

But the flip-side to that is a loss of organic spontaneity – musically and otherwise. As an audience member I still crave that spontaneity no matter how incredible the show is. No matter how amusing it might be to see D’Angelo mimic kissing a woman “way down there”; or how much I like seeing he, Jesse Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey come together with their guitars in those moments. It makes me wonder if creative artists performing on stage also crave it at some point on their touring road.

D'Angelo And The Vanguard concert Australia 2016

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Fourth, Final, Full Satisfaction

Whatever the mysterious, probably unreasonable thing that left me feeling not-quite-full after three incredible D’Angelo shows, it disappeared and mattered not once the the fourth and final Australian show happened on Saturday night at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016.

D'Angelo concert - Bluesfest 2016, Australia

# 4 – Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016

Finally and inexplicably all seemed as it naturally should be at a D’Angelo gig. With everyone seemingly vibin’ on the experience, together. The set-list was nearly the same but as a Byron Bay sider might say: there was some indescribably-different type of musical and energetic magic that happened at Saturday’s closing show…leaving peeps there connected, loved-up and on high. It was created collectively by everyone there of course, hopefully felt by them too.

D'Angelo live concert - Bluesfest 2016

Everyone at Melbourne, Sydney and Bluesfest shows (and others around the world) had their very own experience of D’Angelo And The Vanguard live. Maybe it was nothing at all like mine. Surely it was special.

Leave a comment if you want to share yours – we wanna hear it!

D'Angelo live concert Australia 2016

Visit Beaver on the Beats on Facebook for more photos from these & other D’Angelo And The Vanguard shows; click a link for individual shows: London Roundhouse (2015) –  Melbourne Soulfest 2014 Brisbane Soulfest 2014; and check back here soon for Byron Bay Bluesfest’s dream main stage line-up with Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, Kamasi Washington & West Coast Get Down and Hiatus Kaiyote.

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Sublime Sounds Of Old: Al Green

In my musical world the sublime sounds of old inspire and make me feel more than most new music does today. Here we turn back to those sounds to remind everyone (especially the youngsters of the world) that they are there to know, learn from, love, take them higher, appreciate and cherish…for forever-after.

With heart and soul this particular artist of ol’ made some of the most stunningly perfect, sublime love songs of all time.

He is of course, The Reverend Al Green.

And these are just two of the many of his songs for the cherishing…

Al Green - I'm Still In Love With You

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“Love and Happiness” – Al Green – I’m Still In Love With You (1972)

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Al Green - Let's Stay Together (1972)

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“Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green –  Let’s Stay Together (1972)

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There’s only one contemporary artist I know of whose music and vocals are of the same sublime kind and quality as Al Green’s in the 70s.

He is of course, D’Angelo.

Al Green and D’Angelo are also both messengers of Love. Thanks be to them because the world is most definitely a better place for their musical and lyrical messages. True?

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D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Then & Now – Night & Day

The difference between D’Angelo & The Vanguard’s concert at London’s Roundhouse on Monday night and the last concert of theirs I heard is like Night and Day.

The last was nine months ago when they performed at Soulfest 2014– “Australia’s first annual neo-soul, hip hop and jazz festival”. At that time and for the previous decade, live performances by D’Angelo – or any news of D’Angelo – were rare, almost non-existent. We had no idea then that Black Messiah and the ‘Second Coming’ of D’Angelo were imminent.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

I raved about the seemingly phenomenal goodness of those Australian shows. But with hindsight and the experience of D’Angelo and The Vanguard in London this week I see things a little differently.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard live concert at London Roundhouse

D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at London Roundhouse

Sure the 2014 shows were magnificent – but really, that was for the rare opportunity to experience the incredible musicianship of each and every one of those long-beloved funk and soul artists on stage performing their craft live. The reclusive D’Angelo first and foremost of course – joined (amongst the rest of The Vanguard) by Jesse Johnson, Pino Palladino and Kendra Foster.

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But what I saw clearly in London this week when D’Angelo & The Vanguard graced the stage and started playing (albeit an excruciating 90+ minutes late due to flight delays), is the epic transformation that’s taken place for them since Soulfest. With the release of Black Messiah, considered a wondrous musical gift by, well, everyone who knows anything 🙂 , and 30+ live shows later, D’Angelo & The Vanguard are now a different, much much stronger beast than ever before.

For starters the 11-piece group now includes horns, glorious horns care of Keyon Harrold and Kenneth Whalum III. And as of this month veteran soul diva and long-time friend of D’Angelo, Joi Gilliam brings her talents to The Vanguard posse, taking the place of Kendra Foster on back-up vocals.

Joi Gilliam - D'Angelo & The Vanguard live concert at London Roundhouse

Joi Gilliam

But above and beyond that, the greatest transformations are the profound connectivity and tightness of the group evident in every sound and movement made; and the visible changes in their leader D’Angelo.

Gone is the timid, slightly nervous, restrained D’Angelo I saw on Soulfest stages reacquainting himself with performing to the world – and avoiding ‘Brown Sugar’. Enter D’Angelo on the Roundhouse stage – completely and utterly comfortable, confident and happy in his human and musical skin, doing what he loves to do and what (it seems) he was naturally born to do before the vultures of the music industry, the press (and the public too) sent him to face his demons and retreat for way too long: to bring absolute joy to the people of the world through music.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard live concert at London Roundhouse

Both the Roundhouse and Soulfest shows ended with ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ – and the opportunity for all (D’Angelo too from behind his piano) to hear and appreciate the individual sound of each player and vocalist in turn, and acknowledge their contribution to the show before leaving the stage. Of course I wanted them to stay and play on and on, and on some more.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard live concert at London Roundhouse

On my way out of the Roundhouse my smile got even wider after hearing a guy tell his friend his only disappointment about the show was that D’Angelo played some of his old songs [only two I think – ’Brown Sugar’ and ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’] instead of more of Black Messiah (we did get ‘Sugah Daddy’ ‘Ain’t That Easy’, ‘Really Love’, ‘Betray My Heart’ and ‘The Charade’). Turn back the clock to Soulfest when it drove me crazy to hear people complaining D’Angelo didn’t play ‘Brown Sugar’.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard live concert at London Roundhouse

Betray My Heart – D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

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My only disappointment was that another spiritual, sublime, superb D’Angelo & The Vanguard experience had come and gone again so quickly – and wasn’t coming to London again a week later as planned because of cancellation of the Eventim Apollo show.  The fact is that no number of live D’Angelo & The Vanguard shows will ever be enough – and I’m grateful for the glorious one I got this week.

Check out a few short snippets from the Roundhouse show here…

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When I got the post-Parliament Funkadelic-blues in April, I consoled myself by buying a ticket to D’Angelo’s Roundhouse show. The tables now turn and my consolation for next week’s cancelled D’Angelo show comes via the live P-Funk experience that awaits me in London on August 7.

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Soulfest 2015 – The Second Coming

Soulfest arrived last year, promoted as ‘Australia’s First Annual Neo Soul, Jazz & Hip Hop Festival’. Some teething problems in its inaugural year left people wondering whether there would be a second Soulfest in 2015.

Soulfest Australia poster

Most who experienced Soulfest 2014 were hoping the festival would come again. Because despite those initial teething problems, Soulfest had delivered to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (+ Auckland) one day and night of back-to-back live performances by a super indulgent line-up of some of the worlds greatest living contemporary soul, R&B and hip hop artists.

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Soulfest 2014 Got D’Angelo

First and foremost, one of those Soulfest 2014 artists was the (up until recently) reclusive D’Angelo.

D'Angelo live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

His live Soulfest performances in Australia and New Zealand with The Vanguard were D’Angelo’s first in some time. Those shows also turned out to be D’Angelo’s last ones before the sudden December release of his new album – the divinely soulful, analogue masterpiece Black Messiah

By now you all probably have Black Messiah in your music collections on vinyl and/or cd yes? Or you’ve at least heard the album? Anybody living under a rock who hasn’t can check out these two [dirty mp3] sample tracks from Black Messiah then get yourself the hard-copy on vinyl or cd.

D'Angelo - Black Messiah (2014)

Black Messiah (2014)

‘Sugah Daddy’ – D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

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‘Really Love’ – D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

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D’Angelo & The Vanguard’s October Soulfest shows were also their last live performances before the next one just a couple of weeks ago on Saturday Night Live. Blessed were Australia and New Zealand punters to get the recent experience of D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at Soulfest which D’Angelo fans all over the world now want – some lucky folks in Europe getting it right about now on his ‘Second Coming Tour’ which kicked off in New York last week.

D'Angelo & The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Check out these videos of D’Angelo & The Vanguard’s Soulfest 2014 shows in Melbourne and Brisbane…

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Much More Than D’Angelo

The live experience of D’Angelo & The Vanguard in 2014 was for me the absolute bomb of Soulfest 2014.

D'Angelo live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

But every other leading artist who performed at the festival, and every supporting band member on the main stage with them, were musical gifts of the greatest kind too:  Angie Stone, Leela James, Maxwell, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Anthony Hamilton, Common, Musiq Soulchild and Aloe Blacc. So too were the Australian (or New Zealand) based artists who performed on the second Soulfest stage in Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.

Melbourne                                                                    Brisbane

Angie Stone live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

Angie Stone

Angie Stone live at Brisbane Soulfest 2014

Angie Stone

Leela James live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

Leela James

Leela James live at Brisbane Soulfest 2014

Leela James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maxwell live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

Maxwell

Maxwell live at Brisbane Soulfest 2014

Maxwell

 

 

 

 

Mos Def live at Mellbourne Soulfest 2014

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey)

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) live at Brisbane Soulfest 2014

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey)

Anthony Hamilton at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Anthony Hamilton

Common live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

Common

Common live at Soulfest 2014 Brisbane

Common

Musiq Soulchild live at Melbourne Soulfest 2014

Musiq Soulchild

Musiq Soulchild

 

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Aloe Blacc

Aotearoa-New Zealand / Papua New Guinea / Australia represented at Brisbane Soulfest…

You can check out a heap of videos and more photos of those artists performing live at Melbourne and Brisbane Soulfest 2014 here: Brisbane Soulfest  – Melbourne Soulfest – plus these extra ones below pulled from the Beaver library…



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Soulfest 2015

It would be tough to beat the line-up delivered at Soulfest 2014. But praised be the Music Gods, the news for soul, R&B and hip hop music lovers around the world is that Soulfest say it’s going to try. The festival recently announced that a “bigger and better” Soulfest 2015 is coming – with news of the first round of artists to be delivered soon.

I’m still praying for a super-extra-special miracle that D’Angelo might extend his ‘Second Coming Tour’ to include a return trip to Australia to perform the Black Messiah songs Australia and New Zealand didn’t get at Soulfest last time around; and for the artist I consider to be the living Queen of Soul Music, Erykah Badu to come too.  One can only dream 🙂 .

Register on the Soulfest website or keep an eye on its Facebook page to hear up-to-date news about Soulfest 2015.

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D’Angelo – A Messiah of Sorts

Have you spent the last 14 years since D’Angelo delivered Voodoo – waiting, watching, desperately hoping for the artist then-dubbed the “R&B Jesus” to bring us new music, to deliver Black Messiah? Not me, or at least I didn’t think I was. Voodoo kept me in good company that whole time and still now gives me as much listening delight as it did 14 years ago. It will for the rest of my days.

Certainly for all those years I was waiting and hoping for the live D’Angelo experience. Fortunately I was finally blessed to get a double-fix in Australia a few months ago when D’Angelo and The Vanguard performed at Soulfest in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo and The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014 (w/ Angie Stone & Anthony Hamilton on back-up vocals)

Finally experiencing the incredible vocal and instrumental chops of D’Angelo and the other musicians on stage with him at Soulfest (including legendary bass player Pino Palladino and ex-Prince guitarist Jesse Johnson), was sublimely satisfying.

Pino Palladino with D’Angelo live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Jesse Johnson with D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

The Coming of Black Messiah

Now that Black Messiah is here though; now that I’ve listened to it in hard-copy on the good sound system it’s meant to be heard on, over and over and over again; now that I reflect on the character and quality of r&b, soul and funk music created by artists throughout the last decade, reflect on all music made during that time period of rapid digitalisation, I realise something about D’Angelo and Black Messiah.

I might not have been in-waiting for his new music, but since the album’s turned out to be of the “crazy-amazing, gold standard” type that Prince sings about on Art Official Age; the type we don’t seem to hear as much of these days, D’Angelo’s most recent creation is a surprisingly refreshing and welcome relief from most new music offerings around.

D’Angelo - Black Messiah (2014)

D’Angelo and The Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

The quality, textures, flavors and sounds of Black Messiah have the glorious essence of old – a contemporary manifestation of all the crazy-amazing, gold standard soul, r&b, jazz and funk music artists we all know and love who came before, at the same time and soon after D’Angelo.

The composition of all Black Messiah’s diverse, layered, beautifully-blended sounds by multi-instrumentalist & vocalist D’Angelo, in collaboration with Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (drums), Q-Tip (lyrics), Pino Palladino (bass+sitar), Roy Hargrove (brass & horns), James Gadson (drums) and Kendra Foster (lyrics/vocals) are as brilliant as you’d expect from la crème de la crème of contemporary funk, soul, hip hop and jazz artists. Every note on the album is executed flawlessly by those and other talented musicians D’Angelo worked with in the studio (again including Jesse Johnson).

The honey-sweet lead and backing vocals sung by D’Angelo (also P-Funk’s Kendra Foster & others) sound as natural and improvised as could be, ooze tender emotion and would be impossible for any singer to replicate if they tried.

D’Angelo live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo

Kendra Foster with D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Kendra Foster

Fundamentally too, this album is a rarity because it was organically recorded and mixed in the sweet, warm analog world, uncontaminated by digital manipulations.

All of those factors in Black Messiah’s mix equal a bouncing, grooving, funking, jazzy, swinging, occasionally rocked-out, absolutely soul-drenched album of sound delights from start to finish.

Long-Awaited Music Messiah

So even though D’Angelo has clearly stated he’s not professing himself to be the black messiah, the crazy-amazing music he’s created and just shared with the world in light of all music that’s come before it in recent years, means D’Angelo is now as he was 14 years ago, and will be for the rest of time, regarded by me and millions of others in the world as a saviour of sorts – a Music Messiah.

D’Angelo live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

The ultimate message I take from Black Messiah is one of hope for the future; confirmation that yes, this is the high-quality “crazy-amazing gold standard” that music can still meet; these are the sounds of music that music can still have.

Black Messiah at its Best

Giving mp3-only samples of Black Messiah feels dirtier than ever before, but here you have a couple of tracks. Get the album on sweet vinyl from 4 February to hear this music as it was meant to be heard. Get it on cd now if you don’t already have it. Familiarise yourself with the names of all the musical magicians involved in its creation. Enjoy the imagery, admire the photography.

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Most importantly “for best results”, listen on a good sound system “at maximum volume” as D’Angelo recommends in the linear notes, so you properly discover and appreciate the myriad of sounds on the album. Love all of Black Messiah forever after, I’m sure that you will. Amen.

D’Angelo - Black Messiah (2014)

Black Messiah (2014)

‘Back to the Future (Part 1)’ –  Black Messiah – D’Angelo and The Vanguard

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‘Prayer’  – Black Messiah – D’Angelo and The Vanguard

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D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

And Now?

With Black Messiah now here, people around the world are probably chomping-at-the-bit for something more; waiting, watching, desperately hoping for D’Angelo to start doing interviews. Not me. I say leave the man be. I’m just grateful for the artist D’Angelo’s delivery of yet another crazy-amazing body of music to delight in forever after. We still have Voodoo and Brown Sugar to keep us company too.

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I’m going back to waiting, watching, hoping for another live experience of D’Angelo and The Vanguard – the next time around playing Black Messiah tracks. Lucky peeps who can get to Europe in February and March for the ‘Second Coming Tour’ can have theirs soon. For a glimpse of the experience, check out more here on D’Angelo and The Vanguard performing recently at Soulfest Australia.

D’Angelo & The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo and The Vanguard live at Soulfest Melbourne 2014

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Soulfest Brisbane – Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

One week after Brisbane Soulfest I’m still buzzing on a musical high, slowly absorbing and relishing the goodness of the experience it was.

Festival folks in Brisbane were delivered exactly what they went to Soulfest for: 10 hours of non-stop soul, r&b and hip hop music from a long-list of quality Australian-based and international artists performing tag team on 2 adjoining stages.

For so many reasons it was crazy special.

CrazySpecial 

The biggest reason of all was that Shit, Damn, Motherfucker, one of those artists on stage is also one of the greatest of our time – yes ya’ll, I’m talking about D’Angelo.

D'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

D’Angelo @ Soulfest Brisbane

Eight more reasons are the talented and accomplished leading artists who also performed on the main Soulfest stage: Angie StoneYasiin Bey (Mos Def) Anthony HamiltonLeela JamesCommonMusiq SoulchildMaxwell and Aloe Blacc.

Those nine international artists performed all-too-short but ever-so-sweet sets, each one of them leaving you wanting much much more.

Extra-special too was the thing that lucky Soulfest punters in all cities got to observe one time or many during their festival day – the mutual artistic respect (and love) demonstrated amongst performers on the bill.  They did so by guesting on stage in the background during a peer’s set (Angie Stone + Anthony Hamilton with D’Angelo; Leela James with Anthony Hamilton; Mos Def with Common etc); or by expressly acknowledging their supporting musicians with words; or where they could, by taking the time to watch and appreciate from side or front of stage fellow artists perform their sets.

DAngelo live in Melbourne 2014

Angie Stone & Anthony Hamilton w/ D’Angelo (Melbourne)

Too many other reasons to count for the crazy-goodness of Soulfest are the individual instrumentalists and back-up singers that each of those leading artists brought to Australia with them…the whole of which equalled a ridiculously huge posse of talent and skill to appreciate during 10 hours.

w/ Musiq Soulchild live in Brisbane 2014

w/ Musiq Soulchild

Angie Stone's band live at Riverstage Brisbane 2014

w/ Angie Stone

Aloe Blacc's band live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

w/ Aloe Blacc

Anthony Hamilton's band live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

w/ Anthony Hamilton

Angie Stone's band live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Angie Stone

Anthony Hamilton's band live @ Riverstage Brisbane 2014

w/ Anthony Hamilton

Aloe Blacc's band live at Brisbane Riverstage 2014

w/ Aloe Blacc

Leela James band live @ Riverstage Brisbane 2014

w/ Leela James

w/ Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Maxwell

Pino Palladino with D'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Pino Palladino with D’Angelo

Aloe Blacc's band live @ Riverstage Brisbane 2014

w/ Aloe Blacc

w/ Leela James band live @ Riverstage Brisbane 2014

w/ Leela James

Anthony Hamilton's band live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

w/ Anthony Hamilton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

w/ Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Maxwell

w/ Musiq Soulchild live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Musiq Soulchild

w/ Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Maxwell

Aloe Blacc's band live in Brisbane 2014

w/ Aloe Blacc

w/ Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Maxwell

w/ Angie Stone live @ Riverstage Brisbane 2014

w/ Angie Stone

w/ Leela James live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Leela James

w/ D'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ D’Angelo

w/ Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

w/ Maxwell

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 If you got to the venue for the start of Soulfest, another reason could have been hearing the winners of Brisbane’s Soul Search competition Sovereign perform on the main stage before that huge international posse did.

Sovereign live at Riverstage Brisbane 2014Sovereign live @ Riverstage Brisbane 2014

If you were quick enough to catch the many up-and-coming Australian-based artists performing on the second stage in between main-stage acts, a whole bunch of other reasons could have been their music.  All the ones I caught gave the crowd a short-but-sweet taste of their own unique sound that also left you wanting more.

w/ Ms Murphy live @ Brisbane Riverstage 2014

w/ Ms Murphy

w/ Noah Slee live @ Brisbane Riverstage 2014

w/ Noah Slee

w/ Jordan Rakei live @ Brisbane Riverstage 2014

w/ Jordan Rakei

As always, the live NGAIIRE experience was an especially good part of this crazyspecial Soulfest.  Hearing the music of Brisbane-based Noah Slee for the first but definitely not the last time was too.

NGAIIRE live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

NGAIIRE

Noah Slee live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Noah Slee

The fact that no musical time was lost between main-stage acts thanks to DJs spinning smooth funk and soul mixes you could happily dance to for hours, was just another reason.

The music was on at Brisbane’s Soulfest, and on some more.  Yes, it was crazy-special.

Soulfest Folks

Importantly for the goodness or otherwise of any festival, listening to all that quality music were a super-friendly, respectful bunch of diverse people of all sorts from all walks. They all had something in common – soul and hip hop music in their bones; loving the experience of hearing so much of it live in Brisbane; and feeling blessed for it.

Brisbane Riverstage 2014Brisbane Riverstage 2014Brisbane Riverstage 2014Brisbane Riverstage 2014

 Brisbane 2014Brisbane Riverstage 2014Brisbane Riverstage 2014Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneSoulfest 2014 - BrisbaneBrisbane Riverstage 2014

Some of those good festival folks deserve special admiration for their dedication and endurance levels: the hard-core fans on the front-line from start to finish of Brisbane Soulfest. Hopefully their personal extra-special Soulfest moments made it all worthwhile.

Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneSoulfest 2014 - BrisbaneSoulfest 2014 - BrisbaneBrisbane Riverstage 2014Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneSoulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Soulfest Moments

Whether you were on the front-line or not it seemed that every person at the festival had their own extra-special Soulfest moments. Me I got mine – they were aplenty throughout the entire festival day.

The first was experiencing the powerful voice and exquisite, unique vocal tones of the gorgeous Leela James live; watching her dance and run around the stage (or into the crowd) and hearing her sing anywhere and everywhere between the ‘deep, sultry’ and the ‘high, almighty’.

Leela James live @ Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneLeela James live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Leela James live @ Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneLeela James live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Another was when Soul Mama Angie Stone graced the Soulfest stage and included ‘Wish I Didn’t Miss You’ in her set with Jamaican and Puerto Rican twists.

Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Every single moment of sound that came from D’Angelo’s stage were the most extra-special of all.

D'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Why? Because Me I loved that D’Angelo didn’t play ‘Brown Sugar’ and that most of his set were extended, recomposed versions of songs from his and one of our world’s greatest ever albums Voodoo.  I respect that D’Angelo didn’t unnecessarily speak a word to the crowd – hearing one of the most brilliant and innovative musical creators of our time perform his music live with his band (including Pino Palladino on bass) in 2014 was more than enough thanks. I loved the sounds of D’Angelo’s musical evolution – and all the soul, r&B, funk, rock, psych or any other elements that his music combines so damned well.

Through his compositions and his chops on guitar, piano and vocals D’Angelo well and truly demonstrated to those at Soulfest blessed enough to hear him live that yes, Shit, Damn, Motherfucker he’s still got it in every.single.way.

D'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneD'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

You can’t tell me this right here ain’t funky-ass-great…

D'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

On top of D’Angelo’s or anyone else’s set, maybe your extra-special moments came when some of the leading Soulfest men showed off their smooth moves?

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Aloe Blacc

Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Maxwell

Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Maxwell

Anthony Hamilton live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton live @ Soulfest Brisbane 2014

Anthony Hamilton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or was that extra-special moment the relief you felt when Yasiin Bey arrived on the Soulfest stage and proceeded to throw every last rose petal in his path before doing a killer set?

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey)

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey)

 

 

 

 

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Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) live @ Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneMos Def (Yasiin Bey) live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

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Maybe it was the party Common threw for the festival during his set?

Common live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Common

Brisbane 2014

Common

Could it have been this Avicii song sung by Aloe Blacc in Melbourne and Brisbane?

Or maybe not, and you’d hoped for another of the many songs in Aloe Blacc’s repertoire? Maybe this one?

Aloe Blacc – ‘Life So Hard’ – Good Things (2011)

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Did the crooning falsetto vocals of Musiq Soulchild put you on high?

Musiq Soulchild live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Musiq Soulchild

Musiq Soulchild live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Musiq Soulchild

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Or in your final Soulfest moments when you were feeling high from all the music that came before and the refreshingly-cool riverside breezes, did you surrender in amusement or glee to the super-corny but beautiful and mesmerising visual, lighting and vocal show put on by Maxwell?

Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Maxwell

Maxwell live@ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Maxwell

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Maxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - BrisbaneMaxwell live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

Whichever of those moments were the extra-special ones for Brisbane festival folks, I’m sure they were many yes?

Soulfest In Every City

Now that Soulfest 2014 has come and gone in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland it’s clear that each city’s Soulfest had a different character.

Soulfest delivered to Brisbane the quality sounds of silky-smooth grooves performed stunningly by one talented artist after another during 10 hours – including Mos Def and Australian-based ones.

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In Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland  – Shit, Damn, Motherfucker one of them was D’Angelo!  Thanks be to the musical and the Soulfest gods for that privilege.

D'Angelo live @ Soulfest 2014 - Brisbane

May Soulfest survive, flourish and return in 2015 with another list of stunning artists to play live on Australian and Aotearoa shores. May the music and the Soulfest gods shine their lights upon us again and bring the queen of innovative and evolving contemporary soul music back to Australia to headline that list. Ya’ll know who I mean. Ms Erykah Badu

Soulfesters in all cities…what say YOU about the crazy-special goodness of Soulfest and your extra-special moments?

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Melbourne Soulfest 2014 – Silky Smooth Sunday Soul Dreams

In Australia right now for the world-first Soulfest are a long list of some of the most talented and influential contemporary soul, r&b and hip hop artists on the planet.

D'Angelo live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo

Angie Stone, D’Angelo, Leela James, Anthony Hamilton, Maxwell, Aloe Blacc, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild and Common. Each artist came with with their own band and back-up singers. All of them are gracing the same Soulfest stages in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, one after the other over 10+ hours. It’s an absolute dream for soul music lovers –  with an added hip hop bonus.

Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Angie Stone

DAngelo live live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo

Leela James live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Leela James

Anthony Hamilton live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Anthony Hamilton

Maxwell live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Maxwell

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Aloe Blacc

Mos Def live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Mos Def

Musiq Soulchild live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Musiq Soulchild

Common live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Common

If you were at Melbourne’s Soulfest on Sunday you probably found that the actual experience was in fact a musical dream come true. 

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Aloe Blacc

If you were at the first-ever Soulfest in Sydney the day before, you mightn’t be feeling so satisfied right? Bad sound quality at a music festival is indeed a devastating thing, for artists and listeners alike. Disappointing too that Mos Def couldn’t make it into the country in time to perform for y’all.

Mos Def live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Mos Def

Melbourne was a different experience. Mos Def had arrived and proceeded to perform at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in fine form.

Mos Def live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Mos Def

Sound quality had improved. The super-smooth and heavenly sounding, all-powerful vocals of the lead artists could be heard and appreciated.

Mos Def live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Mos Def

Leela James live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Leela James

Musiq Soulchild live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Musiq Soulchild

Maxwell live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Maxwell

DAngelo live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014 | Beaver on the Beats

D’Angelo

Anthony Hamilton live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Anthony Hamilton

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Aloe Blacc

Common live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Common

Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Angie Stone

What Melbourne’s festival gained over Sydney in sound though, it lost in the last minute removal of the 2nd Soulfest stage – and all Australian-based artists billed to perform on it. That meant no shows by NGAIIRE, Miracle, Nathaniel, Ms Murphy, Carmen Hendricks, Natasha and EMRSN. Hugely disappointing for artists and listeners alike yes?

The best I can offer in consolation for local artists missed in Melbourne is a glimpse of NGAIIRE and the guest artist she had lined up for the show (Nai Palm from Hiatus Kaiyote) on this mp3 only track from NGAIIRE’s most recent album Lamentations

Lamentations (2013) - Ngaiire

NGAIIRE – Lamentations (2013)

‘Dirty Hercules’ – NGAIIRE (featuring Nai Palm) 

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Putting aside the festival’s “logistical and operational issues”, which I can only guess at, I know this from the Melbourne Soulfest experience. 

Every artist who performed on stage absolutely killed it. Folks who went are ridiculously blessed and spoiled to have experienced one day and night of their life listening to nothing but soul, r&b and hip hop music played and sung live by a bunch of incredibly talented, pioneering artists from the past 20+ years of the soul music chapter of our world music history. 

My messages to Melbourne’s good Soulfest folk are these… 

To the local artists we missed on the Spotify stage…we know to find your next show.

To Melbourne’s Dru Chen…congratulations on winning Soul Search and playing first up on the main stage with the incredible calibre of international soul artists that followed.

Dru Chen live in Melbourne 2014

Dru Chen

To Angie Stone and Leela James – the only two lead female artists on the main Soulfest stage (with sets way too early in the day)…Queens you truly are!

Angie Stone

Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Angie Stone live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

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Leela James

Leela James live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Leela James live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

 

To the leading men of Soulfest…with your threads and your moves and more, you remain silky smooth on the eyes – but especially and more importantly to the ears.

Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Aloe Blacc live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014x

Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Anthony Hamilton live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

Common

Common live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Common live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

 

D’Angelo

DAngelo live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014 | Beaver on the BeatsDAngelo live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

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Maxwell

Maxwell live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Maxwell live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

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Mos Def

Mos Def live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Mos Def live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

 

Musiq Soulchild

Musiq Soulchild live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014Musiq Soulchild live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

 

From me and my bass-playing friends to D’Angelo…thanks for bringing Pino with you.

Pino with DAngelo live in Melbourne 2014

Pino Palladino with D’Angelo

To every artist who played an instrument on the Melbourne stage…hearing your super-fine chops was a priceless musical experience.

Musiq Soulchild band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Musiq Soulchild

DAngelo's band live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

w/ D’Angelo

Leela James band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Leela James

Aloe Blacc's band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Aloe Blacc

DAngelo's band live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

w/ D’Angelo

Angie Stone's band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Angie Stone

Leela James band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Leela James

Musiq Soulchild band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Musiq Soulchild

Mos Def DJ live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Mos Def

Common's band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Common

Angie Stone live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Angie Stone

Aloe Blacc's band live in Melbourne

w/ Aloe Blacc

Musiq Soulchild band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Musiq Soulchild

Angie Stone band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Angie Stone

DAngelo live @ Soulfest Melbourne 2014

D’Angelo

Anthony Hamilton's band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Anthony Hamilton

Musiq Soulchild band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Musiq Soulchild

Anthony Hamilton's band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Anthony Hamilton

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To all back-up singers…your voices and rhymes were an indispensable goodness in the whole musical experience…

DAngelo live in Melbourne 2014

w/ D’Angelo

Anthony Hamilton's singers/emcees live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Anthony Hamilton

Leela James band live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Leela James

Angie Stone back-up singers live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Angie Stone

Anthony Hamilton's singers/emcees live in Melbourne 2014

w/ Anthony Hamilton

Common's back-up singer live in  Melbourne 2014

w/ Common

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DAngelo live in Melbourne 2014

Angie Stone & Anthony Hamilton w/ D’Angelo

To the main stage DJs (M-PhazesMsRizk – Trey) you made the breaks between live sets feel shorter than they already were and maintained the flow of funky, soulful festival vibes.

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To the wonderfully diverse Melbourne Soulfest crowd, all at the festival for their deep love of great soul and hip hop music – thanks for creating a day of fun, friendly vibes.

Melbourne 2014

Melbourne 2014Melbourne 2014

Melbourne 2014Melbourne 2014Melbourne 2014Melbourne 2014Melbourne 2014

Melbourne 2014

 

Melbourne 2014

Finally to Soulfest…thanks for making it happen!

Brisbane gets their Soulfest 2014 at Riverstage this Saturday, and Auckland on Sunday at Western Springs Stadium. If you can possibly get yourself there, definitely get yourself there. Your soul will be so much richer for the experience.

Auckland poster

Folks at Melbourne’s Soulfest what say you?  Was the festival a silky-smooth soul musical dream come true for you?

Angie Stone live in Melbourne 2014

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