It’s 7:30 p.m. and still hot as blazes at Chastain Park. Picnic baskets, sun dresses and plenty of food and drink are in full effect as the large, fashionably dressed crowd awaits the main act: Miss J-I-L-L S-C-O-T-T from North Philadelphia.
Two opening acts, a female singer from Detroit who did a nice cover of a Jazmine Sullivan hit and Jeff Bradshaw, a veteran trombone player and his band, also from North Philly, have primed the crowd.
Billed as a summer block party, DJ Jazzy Jeff is spinning hits like “Tenderoni”.
Good times, good music and plenty of heat to rock it out. Can someone say summer madness?
The crowd gets a little crunk when Kem hits the stage in all white just before 8 p.m. with an up tempo jam, before settling into one of his famous mellow standards, “You’re on my mind.”
Kem takes to the piano to sing crowd favorites, “Why would you Stay” and “Share my Life.” The man, his talented background trio and his band don’t disappoint. “I’m singing for the ladies,” he says. “But I’m working for the fellas.”
Then he takes it back old school style with “Best of my Love” from The Emotions; “You Can’t Hide Love” from Earth, Wind & Fire and Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing.”
The singer takes time out in show to encourage the crowd and profess his faith, proclaiming that he has graduated from the University of Grace and Mercy.
After a few moments of personal testimony, Kem launches into his hit, “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” prompting at least one man in the crowd to stand up, turn around and begin to sing the song to his woman. It seems that Kem also has a degree in romance.
Once Kem has left the building (OK the park), DJ Jazzy Jeff is hyping the crowd with Michael Jackson hits and “Doing Da Butt.” Hold up; wait a minute the crowd is finally on its feet. This summer block party is on and popping and the sweat is flying.