Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - House of Blues, Boston MA
*(photo by AD whom I was standing next to)
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
House of Blues, Boston MA
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Support: The Heavy
I've waited for this..and waited and waited it seemed, but Thursday night I was able to check off Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings off my concert bucket list. Ever since I read a review of her album "100 Days, 100 Nights" I had been curious. I knew NOTHING about the singer or band, and honestly I *thought* I was a casual fan at best of the genre of music, but the review was so good I took the chance, and just fell in love. The band had played local twice before since I knew about them, the first was the week I got the cd and it was a sold out show already, then the next was Halloween night (having 2 kids of the trick or treat age) kept me from attending that. Finally, there was my chance and I scoffed up tickets the day of on sale when Sharon would be town to promote her latest album "I Learned the Hard Way".
The Dap Kings took the stage about 20 after 9 and the sold out crowd was just ready to burst. Lead by guitar player Binky Griptite the band ran through a few instrumental tunes and set the tone for the evening. Griptite spoke often, and kept teasing us with the arrival of Ms. Sharon Jones..and finally..she arrived. The place went bonkers. Bosco Mann on bass, was the band leader when there were no speaking parts. He'd come out in from of Homer Steinweiss' drum kit and point to the guitars or horns like James Brown. Jones, all 4 foot something unleashed her soul to us and didn't let it down for close to 90 minutes.
Jones touched on the latest album with rousing renditions of "The Game Gets Old", "I Learned the Hard Way", "She Ain't a Child No More" and a very fun version of "Mama Don't Like My Man".
In reading, Jones is 54 years old. The former prison guard commands the stage as you'd expect. Pointing, calling the shots and just being so amazing. She gave us dance lessons, told us she couldn't pronounce Massachusetts well all the while she hardly seemed to break a sweat. I saw her have ONE sip of a drink and never watched her wipe her brow.
The horn section was very tight and high in the mix, and the "Dapettes", two female backing singers swayed all evening. Drums and percussion were tight and you kept thinking "wow, what a strong supporting cast!"
Sharon is quick to offer the spotlight to others. She ran the band through introductions and had them each run a quick solo. The backup singers probably got the loudest ovation of the night with some soulful crooning. Keeping with the spirit of openness Jones invited close to 20 females on stage to dance, and had 2 men up on stage at various points where she sang to them. She kept constant eye contact with her subjects and really was open, not shying away from the males or females.
For the first song of the encore Jones stayed off stage and let the band run through a vocal free cover of The Temptations song (Reach Out)" I'll Be There". She did come back to the stage for a blistering version of "100 Days, 100 Nights" that left this reviewer just speechless. At one point, she moved within arms reach and crooned to the lucky fella right in front of me (see the image). It was awesome. She holds a note at the end of the song that just slays me and she checked with her band..asking.."is this the last song" setting us up for an over the top, all out vocal romp...and we got it....pay day! Just stunning.
The band kept the motor rolling and she told us she had to go..had to go...and then Binky thanked us all once more and told us to stop over at the merchandise table as they'd be over to say hi and sign things. With that, the show ended.
Grabbed a poster and waited my turn...got Sharon to sign it. She was gracious with EVERY person, talking, laughing, offering cheeks to kiss. She looked stunning, nothing like you'd expect her to be like after 90 mints of a serious musical beat down.
I won't miss her again, and you shouldn't either.
Links for you:
The band's main page is here.
Wiki page. the bands label site is here.
Follow the band on twitter and become a fan on facebook.