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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