Guys, I got to see D’Angelo and The Vanguard live in concert at Club Nokia on Monday night with my pal, Becky, and it was EVERYTHING! I was delighted to have seen him perform on “Saturday Night Live” but, of course, that has nothing on the live show. If ever you had a doubt in your mind, D’Angelo’s still got it. Yes, that velvety voice greeted me like a warm hug. He’s promoting his new album, Black Messiah, which has some great tracks. My favorites that he graced us with that night were “Really Love,” “Ain’t That Easy,” “The Charade” and “Betray My Heart,” which was accompanied by the flyest sign-language choreo I’d ever seen.
Words cannot describe how amazing the show was. The multiple costume changes with varying iterations of brimmed hats, scarves and tattered capes. “Brown Sugar.” Oh, and the encores. I love, love, LOVED the grand finale with, what else, “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” and it was one of the best endings to a live show I’d ever seen. As they played the song that everyone was waiting for, one by one, each member of The Vanguard took a bow and made their exit off the stage, until all that was left was D’Angelo, a piano and that enchanting voice.
Give it up for The Vanguard, because they truly brought it! Every player was equally talented and enjoyable to watch. Bass player Pino Palladino had a chill vibe, as did the two male background singers. Yaaasss to the saxophone and trumpet players and drummer. But I have to give it to the only woman on stage, Kendra Foster. She reminds me of a modern-day Josephine Baker: beautiful voice, passionate dancer, remarkable style and grace. All that to say, if you get a chance to see D’Angelo and The Vanguard live, you won’t regret it! I didn’t want it to end, but when it did we made our way to the front of the stage and Becky was able to take home a one-of-a-kind souvenir: the set list.
Thanks, Becky, for inviting me to this magical concert, allowing me to celebrate your birthday a day early with you, sharing these images and being an all-around wonderful friend. Keep up with Becky via BeckyFromGardena.com, and purchase a copy of her recently release book, The Record Store Book.