D'Angelo & The Vanguard Baptized Los Angeles in the Funk

D'Angelo and The Vanguard at Club Nokia, Los Angeles for the second night of "The Second Coming Tour" on June 8th, 2015. D'Angelo performed songs from his catalog with special attention paid to the most recent release, Black Messiah, now available on iTunes and Amazon from RCA Records. Read our own Curtis Walker's review and see some captured footage and photos from the show below.

Hit me. No, not once...not twice, but FORTY FIVE times! Yeah...they just did that! In what was sure to be a show for the ages, D'Angelo and his incredibly dynamic band, The Vanguard, counted off 45 times.

That was just one of the many amazing moments of last night's concert held at Club Nokia - although held is not really the right word. In just the second night of "The Second Coming Tour", D'Angelo and The Vanguard moved the crowd for a solid two hours as if stirring a large pot of the stickiest funk and soul they could conjure. In a performance that would have made of James Brown jump back and kiss himself, this group effectively baptized Los Angeles in the funk.

D'Angelo and The Vanguard Baptized Los Angeles in the Funk The first part of the show highlighted the new Black Messiah album with "Spanish Joint" (Voodoo) and "Brown Sugar" (Brown Sugar) thrown in for good measure. It wasn't until they took it home with "Sugah Daddy" that we were all hit with "the 45", after which point I think its safe to say everyone in attendance could use a moment to regroup.

"Forty-five in the house! Come on!" - D'Angelo

When the band took the stage for an encore, it almost seemed as though the first half of the show had just been an appetizer. Starting off with the slower "Another Life", they began heating things up as they moved into "Back to the Future", and then really getting things moving with "Left and Right" which the crowd didn't hesitate to chant along to. The highlight here was the fifteen minute funk lesson known as "Chicken Grease", one of the dirtiest, funk nasty breakdowns to take place this side of the Mississippi, which brought the house down.

For those still breathing after "The Chicken Grease Massacre of 2015", The Vanguard took the stage yet again for a second encore. Fully aware that much of the audience was running on fumes by now, they slowed it down, playing D'Angelo in with "Till It's Done (Tutu)". Then to finish things off, Chris "Daddy" Dave led us with an incredible drum solo, into the slow classic "Untitled (How Does It Feel)". Flirting with the microphone and teasing the crowd, they took this one home for a good fourteen minutes in what was the equivelant of a long kiss goodnight.

The electricity of the show could not be contained. Much like the earlier works of Prince (1980's - 1990's), D'Angelo has pulled off what seldom artists have, delivering yet another solid album (or whatever they're called in this mp3 era), and, again like Prince, they manage to take those same songs to another level in performing them live - with a band. To add even more validity to the Vanguard's pedigree, the masterful Jesse Johnson (formerly of The Time) is D'Angelo's guitar man. That definitely lends authenticity to D'Angelo's seemingly Minneapolis vibe. Rounding out the rest of the band are Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Pino Palladino (bass), Chris "Daddy" Dave (drums), Cleo "Pookie" Sample (keyboards), and singers Charlie "Red" Middleton, Jermain Holmes and Kendra Foster who also wrote on the album.

It's interesting to note that with the exception of an occasional call to the crowd to put their hands together, D'Angelo never really addressed the crowd between or during any of his songs. No greetings, jokes or banter. No social commentary or heavy discussions. Everything that took place on that stage still spoke volumes. Moving between the microphone, keys and guitar, D'Angelo was in command of the entire venue from start to finish.

The show was amazing! He truly displayed the volume of songs from his latest project (Black Messiah) in a major way. A concert which was sure to inspire those who hadn't yet purchased it to do so. And for those of us who had... we truly could gain an even greater appreciation for it!

If you get a chance to catch this show, by all means... GO! Get that album while you're at it.


The remaining dates in "The Second Coming Tour" are as follows:

06-13 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
06-14 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
06-16 Dallas, TX - The Bomb Factory
06-17 Houston, TX - The Warehouse
06-20 Norfolk, VA -Norva
06-21 Forest Hills, NY - Forest Hills Stadium
06-23 Philadelphia, PA - The Keswick
06-25 Washington, DC - The Fillmore
06-27 Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre
06-28 Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
07-03 Gdynia, Poland - Open’er Festival
07-06 Rome, Italy - Parco della Musica
07-07 Milan, Italy - Estathe Market Sound
07-08 Montreux, Switzerland - Montreux Jazz Festival - Stravinsky Hall
07-10 Rotterdam, Netherlands - North Sea Jazz Festival
07-12 Liege, Belgium - Les Ardentes
07-13 London, England - Roundhouse
07-15 Grimstad, Norway - Skral Festival
07-16 Oslo, Norway - Fjord Festival
07-17 Molde, Norway - Molde International Jazz Festival
08-07 San Francisco, CA - Golden Gate Park Outside Lands
09-04-06 Chicago, IL - North Coast Music Festival

For more on D'Angelo and The Vanguard, including music, tour dates and more, visit blackmessiah.co.


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