Wednesday, February 11, 2015

D'Angelo At The Apollo Theater: Audience Awestruck

On Saturday night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, D’Angelo brought his new band, Vanguard, and the sigh of relief became a secular ritual of jubilation for a sold-out audience of 1,500.

D’Angelo and Vanguard straight up rocked the house for more than two hours, journeying through his new recording and selections from his neo-soul debut, Brown Sugar (1995), and the Y2K masterpiece Voodoo. Ever since he won the Amateur Night at the Apollo competition in 1991 at age 16, he has shown a keen appreciation of black musical history. So for this, his first appearance at the historic venue as a leader, he brought his D’A game.
D'Angelo at the Apollo theater Feb. 7, 2015 - Youtube screenshot
As he began singing “Prayer” from Black Messiah, the lights came up slowly, the identity of the figure clad in black, with hat cocked to one side, mysterious and unclear, but the voice unmistakable. By the time his band of three backup singers—including the vivacious vocalist Kendra Foster—and instrumental partners on keyboard, drums, two guitars and electric bass came to the stage, they were ready to rock—literally.


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