Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles 26 June, 2010
Saturday night in downtown Los Angeles was the place for an object lesson in Soul Music, old school style, courtesy of Sharon Jones and the one and only Dap Kings. They were in town at the Wiltern Theater, with the emphasis on the newest record, "I Learned The Hard Way".
Opening duties were handled with great aplomb by The Heavy, an English group that seemed to draw heavily from the wellspring of Fishbone. They handled ska beats and Stooges stomp with equal dexterity.
Showtime finally arrived as the Dap Kings hit the stage, their ranks rapidly swelling to 'Lyle Lovett/Large Band' proportions. Their sound was bouyant and propulsive, easily filling the theater, but not at the expense of dynamics. One of the tighter bands on the road now, it seems like their finally getting their due.
Nowadays it seems like the art of the introduction is lost, but below, the Dap Kings work through their newest theme, 'The Reason', (part one), and then proceed to bring on Sharon Jones, (part two), in a style befitting, as only Binky Griptite could put it: "That super soul sister with the magnetic je ne sais quois..."
With the spotlight on her, Sharon did not wilt or disappoint. I'm deep with the albums, and I've heard a few different live shows, but when she hit the stage, it was a detonation...Nothing quite compares or readies you for the sheer 'in your face.ness of it'.
It was definitely a people's show, with Sharon calling out audience members to come up and share the love. At one point, she had to wrangle a pack of girls that took advantage to obtain their less than fifteen minutes...She showed great patience in herding, and the band never missed a beat.
Highlights of the night included a rousing take on "Let Them Knock", (below), and the Dap King's horns showcased the new tune: "The Game Gets Old".
They never ran out of steam, and word to the wise, when the old school carnival hits your town, be sure not to miss it.