If you’re going to throw a summer block party, it doesn’t hurt to have DJ Jazzy Jeff on the turntable and beatbox pioneer Doug E. Fresh on the mic, whipping the crowd into an old-school frenzy right before main act Jill Scott takes to the stage to pull you even further down memory lane to music’s good ol’ days.
On Friday night, the Budweiser Superfest Block Party was in an Atlanta neighborhood, the first of two night’s at Chastain Amphitheater. Check out photo gallery from the show.
“Yes, jazz still exists, funk still exists, hip hop still exists, soul still exists and storytelling still exists,” the neo soul singer told the crowd after opening her show with “Shame,” a powerfully contagious sample of the 1989 hit “I’m the Magnificent” from Brooklyn rapper Special Ed.
A thinner, sexy Jill Scott promised fans a night that would continue with storytelling. And so she did with deeply honest anthems (mostly from her new album “Light of the Sun”) that poured from her lips about seemingly painful relationships and being thankful for a joyful life nonetheless.
The spoken word “Quick,” for instance, tells of a magical relationship that ended much too soon. “You moved into my house, gave me a son. It was so quick, the way that it happened, quick, the way that you left me – quick.” While “All Cried Out,” with assist from Doug E. Fresh, tells of “moving on, taking over.”
The sold-out show at Chastain, which was low on frills and high on vocals, allowed Scott to simply use her powerful voice and life stories to connect with fans in a way that made heartbreak seem like a normal part of life’s journey rather than a detour to happiness. She easily made Atlanta fans fell as if they knew each other from way back when.
One minute she was singing of confusion and pain, the next empowering them to stand on their feet with “Hate on Me,” “Womanifesto” and “Rolling Hills.” Well, well….
During her 90 minute show, Scott never left the stage once, instead asking the crowd to excuse her as she dabbed sweat, reapplied lipstick, and adjusted her bra. And so it was in a true sense a block party with singing, dancing, eating, drinking.
While the show was heavy on new material (including the lovely duet “So in Love” by Scott and Anthony Hamilton) , fans were still treated to classic Jill (though with a jazzy twist), with “Slowly Surely,” “It’s Love,” “A Long Walk” and “Cross My Mind.” She closed the show with the encore “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat).”
Anthony Hamilton, who headlined last year’s Superfest, gave a repeat of much of that tour, including his church revival rendition of “Jesus Can Work it Out,” and popular ballads “Point of it All,” “Can’t Let Go,” and “Charlene.”
The Block Party continues tonight at Chastain with Jill Scott along with opening acts Mint Condition, Anthony Hamilton, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Doug E. Fresh.