Thursday, August 25, 2011

Revisiting Jill Scott's Summer Block Party Tour

Not even a hefty amount of heavy rain and some thunder could stop the show that was a part of the tour that made a stop in Virginia Beach this past Sunday, August the 21st.  Jill Scott’s Summer Block Party didn’t allow the moisture that fell from the heavens to rain on its summer parade.  Rocking out the Verizon Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach’s Amphitheatre, the tour stop was well worth weathering the storm.  It definitely held true to its claim of “rain or shine” as stated on the ticket.  Luckily the weather let up a little to let Ms. Scott’s fans enjoy themselves to her soulful sound backed by a live band.

In addition to seeing the featured singer, who released her fourth studio album, THE LIGHT OF THE SUN, this past June, concert goers were also treated to the popular likes of Anthony Hamilton and classic R&B group Mint Condition.  They opened the show to a nearly packed crowd who were still filing in, no doubt due to the weather.  Time certainly has not severely tarnished their vocal stylings with the countless cheers and screams from the audience who were showing their appreciation for the timeless group. 

In between performances, patrons were showered by one old school classic after another mixed over by none other than DJ Jazzy Jeff.  Yes, Jazzy was definitely doing his thing on the 1’s and 2’s as people weren’t able to stop themselves from dancing all the way into the aisles.  Vintage recordings from legends like Diana Ross, LL Cool J, Bobby Brown, Bel Biv Devoe and the King of Pop himself Michael Jackson echoed from his turntables.  I can go on and on with the list but I don’t have that kind of time.  I felt like I heard a compilation of all the samples that artists and performers of today use for their own music.  To put it quite mildly, the crowd was rocking and rocking hard to all of these old school jams.  I walked past many of couples grinding on each other on the way to and from the concession stand.  The intermission show turned into a nightclub in an instant while Jazzy was on stage.

I was a little surprised by the ovation and attention that Mr. Hamilton received when he walked onto the stage in his crisp suit.  I looked around and realized why.  The crowd, of course, was made up of mostly ladies.  Ladies who loved themselves some Anthony Hamilton.  Even a friend, who came with me, couldn’t contain herself when he slid onto the stage with his back-up singers in tow.  “I Lllllooooovvvveeee Him” rang in my ear through one of the biggest smiles I have ever quite possibly seen.  For a brief instant, I kind of wished my last name was Hamilton, I was able to sing and had a record deal.  Plus I bet I’d look pretty cool in one of his trademark hats.  The crowd sung along to almost every track he performed and you could tell he almost didn’t want to leave when his set was finally over.  I was surprised no panties found their way onto the stage.

After another set by DJ Jazzy Jeff, the main attraction, Ms. Scott herself made her appearance.  Looking quite nice in a sparkly dress which showed off just enough cleavage to grab my attention and keep it, she opened by thanking the crowd for attending her concert.  A very classy move by a very classy lady.  She performed a nice mixture of classics and tracks off of her new album.  The crowd was into all of it.  Not a very big Jill Scott fan myself, I simply sat back and enjoyed the soundings of her songs, many of which I was hearing for the first time.  It’s a little difficult to describe but I’m sure other music lovers out there will agree.  There really isn’t anything like hearing good music for the very first time. 

The band behind her complimented her vocals even more than you would feel on any CD or hear on the radio.  The percussions were booming and the trumpets were crisp in the night air.  She even performed some spoken word, beat-boxing and a rap before the show was over.  Just when we all thought she was finally finished she walked back out onto the stage and kept on singing, a couple times. 

The walk back to the car in the moist, cool night was spent reminiscing about all of the live performances and how we both felt that our parents and aunts and uncles should have been there.  Especially with all of the old school classics that were featured during the prime of their lives.  But even though we were probably among the youngest people there, it was a privilege and a definite treat to be able to attend this party hosted by Ms. Scott & Co.  The tour now shifts out west this weekend to Dallas, TX and then Alabama.  Hopefully a behind the scenes DVD will come from these live shows.  Until then, go get her CD and listen to some good music for once.