Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Heritage Square - 3/21/14
Jones started off the set with "Stranger to My Happiness," from their newest release, Give the People What They Want. Her voice was powerful from the get-go and she was at a place way past happy -- more grateful, celebratory and triumphant as she worked her way through the hoppy soulful song with its funky dips that started the crowd moving for the nonstop dance party.
Sharon and the Dap-Kings played a pretty good chunk of the new release, following up the first tune with "You'll Be Lonely," belting it out with fire. A real highlight from the new recording was "Making Up and Breaking Up (And Making Up and Breaking Up Over Again). The recorded version is great, but when performing it live, she tore it up on the vocals, playing with range and having fun adding a little scat to the mix, playing with that wordy title.
The Dap-Kings' horn section...
It wasn't all new songs, as they traveled through their history, playing songs like "I Learned the Hard Way," and the heavy hitting "Better Things," which seemed to resonate big with everyone as she fiercely stated "I've got better things to do than remember you." Ain't it the truth?
Sharon Jones' relationship with her band is also as great to watch as her killer dance moves. It's a solid union going on with that whole team. Each player so damn solid, effortlessly working their way through the jazzy funked out, soul experience that is their show with precision and sincerity. No goofy showoff-y moments to be found; it's a puzzle that is easily stuck together with respect and good feelings. It shows.
...and its guitarists.
Jones talked to the crowd about how good she feels after her fight with cancer. If it wasn't public knowledge, it sure would have been hard to tell last night that she'd been down at all.
When she said she was feeling the spirit of James Brown, she proved it with moves that rivaled the legend's steps and she also sang about a variety of classic dances, doing each one and getting the audience to, as well. The Jerk, The Swim, The Twist, The Mashed Potato and a few more intensified the dance party that felt like it could go on all night with no complaints.
Sharon Jones with a fan last night at Heritage Square.
The band closed it up with "100 Days, 100 Nights," from the 2007 release of the same name. After some healthy chanting, they came back out for their version of the classic "This Land Is Your Land," leaving everyone satisfied. Sharon let everyone know she was going to the merch table to sign stuff, talk to people and give some hugs, so much of the crowd was happy to gather around her for some personal interaction.
A damn fine night of music in downtown Phoenix. Mofo's who haven't seen their own rhythm in years fucking found it last night, dusted it off, and shook that shit because you just couldn't not.
Stranger to My Happiness
You'll Be Lonely
Long Time, Wrong Time
People Don't Get What They Deserve
Slow Down, Love
Making Up and Breaking Up (And Making Up and Breaking Up Over Again)
Get Up and Get Out
He Said I Can
I Learned the Hard Way
Now I See
100 Days, 100 Nights
This Land is Your Land (encore)
Last Night: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at Heritage Square.
Personal Bias: I knew Sharon and her Dap-Kings were gonna bring it.
The Crowd: Pretty diverse mix of people who obviously love the band and were ready to twist and shout. Also, some handsy creepers who were happy to cop a few feels in the name of a rockin' soul dance party.
Overheard: (While in line for the ATM) "My brother once cried because he couldn't get an ATM machine to work. He's a total baby but I wish he lived here because he would fucking love this show."
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