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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