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Jill Scott rocks block party at Chastain

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.

3 comments Add your comment

MLK is A'Spinnin

August 20th, 2011
1:25 pm

All hail the RACIST Jill Scott. Here is her quote from Essence Magazine when she found out her black friend was marrying a white woman:

‘My new friend is handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy…I admit when I saw his wedding ring, I privately hoped. But something in me just knew he didn’t marry a sister. Although my guess hit the mark, when my friend told me his wife was indeed Caucasian, I felt my spirit…wince. I didn’t immediately understand it.’

Sounds like somebody got a CHIP on her shoulda !


August 22nd, 2011
12:50 pm

I expected much more from the concert. Jill was just ok. Maybe it was the acoustics at Chastain. I could not really see much of anything. The TV screens are much too small. For the amount I paid for the tickets, I expected more entertainment on the stage.

Cheryl S. Ross

August 22nd, 2011
2:13 pm

The Jill Scott Block Party was everything I expected and more. I went with my husband and son and we had a ball. Jill Scott is by far the best artist of my time. Her range is amazing. Anthony Hamilton, another of my favorite artist put on an excellent show. The positive vibrations that were in the air made the show one of the best I have attended. I am planning to travel to other venues to catch the show. By the way, Jill Scott is not racist. The poster who wrote Jill is a racist is completely wrong and probably not a fan in the first place. Everything is not about race as some of you claim. Jill has her fans and for those who do not like her, too bad because the girl is talented and no one can take that away from her.