Thursday, November 10, 2011

Aloe Blacc Concert Review

Aloe Blacc started off his magical concert on Monday night by reminding us of some of the greats of soul music: Green, Gaye, Wonder, Brown, clearly hoping that one day another name will be among that illustrious list-Blacc. If the show was any indication, it won't be too long before his hopes become a reality.

Throughout the hour and a half long concert that I went to with my girlfriend and a couple of buddies, Blacc seemed to be systematically working through a list of things which a great soul artist needs to have: a great voice, charisma, funky dance moves, glances that make girls swoon, a sense of joie de vivre. Playing largely hits from his most recent album Good Things, Blacc did all that and more. Although of course rehearsed a million times, Blacc gave off the impression that the crowd was witnessing something that had never been seen before, and the Madrileño crowd (not an easy one by a long shot) was loving it. Blacc was pitch perfect, sounding just at home on his slower tracks ("If I") as with his more upbeat ones ("Good Things"). He made sure that we all had a damn good time, at one point getting the crowd to split into two while urging us to start a "SoulTrain" dance line down the middle-turning random fellow concert goers into boogie partners. It was a great moment, but one soon eclipsed by him and his band playing "I Need A Dollar," a song that I have heard/taught/jammed to more than probably any other song. Real special moment for myself (thought I wish the battery on my phone would have realized what was going on and not have kooked out on me).

It was a night that started off with a surprise-walking in to the theater I saw none other than Exile warming up the crowd with the funkiest of DJ sets, playing nothing but old school funk and soul. Exile and Blacc had once formed a hiphop group (more on that to come), and Exile spent most of the concert recording everything from the side of the stage with a huge grin on his face. Luckily I got to meet him post-concert, pretty much telling him that he was the man. From the surprise warm up act to the vibrant main show, it was a helluva night for the crowd, for Madrid's music scene, and for soul. Luckily, Blacc will continue to grow as an artist and we can only assume will continue to knock on the door of the upper echelon of Soul.

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