Spreading like a Texas wildfire is news of D'Angelo's return, as he took to the stage for the first time in eleven years yesterday during a special Stockholm, Sweden performance. Instantly, D's faithful followers blew out the candles and emerged from their praying shrines to join the rest of the Internet in the act of losing their ever-loving minds---and boy, did we ever. A thought process:
- News of D'Angelo's comeback concert cropped up in the mid-morn of Thursday concerning him kicking off a short tour in Europe, his first stop occurring in Sweden. You're Audio Diva-ness wasn't so moved, even though his tour manager had begun a special tour diary making an exclamatory note that he actually stepped on the plane to the show. In addition to that, a photo of D posing with a fan at the event popped up around the Internets. These two things just set fire to the rain shower the day's pending spread of events. Still I needed more proof...
- Proof came when a grainy video of the performance of "Chicken Grease" premiered, followed by "Shit Damn Motherfucker". What really pleased me more than just hearing him blaze through these hits was seeing him smile and thoroughly enjoy himself during these performances. True, D looks like he spent some time on the Black Pearl with Jack Sparrow like the swashbuckler of Soul music he is, but him beaming from ear-to-ear, interacting with the audience, and jumping around on stage gave me the relief that D is back to his old shenanigans. Not to mention he sounds G-R-E-A-T, especially on "Shit Damn". He's been gone for about twelve years? Pfft! Try twelve seconds, the man was on point.
- The show wasn't all about the old, as D gave viewers something we can feel for the future as he uncorked a couple of new jawns by the names of "Sugar Daddy" and "The Charade". Both tunes are seeped in a Prince-ly groove circa 1986-89, when his Purple Highness began to fully fold Jazz into his Funk repertoire.
- As usual, I don't try to jump the gun when it comes to comebacks, because let's face it---it's not going to be 2000 again and D has been through a lot in the last several years, so I ease into this hoping that he doesn't do another vanishing act again, that he actually sticks around, and hopefully we get a tangible release this year.
- Still, just this much makes me a school girl again, catching all the feelings of hearing D'Angelo for the first time in the late 90's, and hearing these performances is bringing it all back. Now is the time to bring some real testosterone, some real He-Man grunt back into the Soul/R&B game, and D may be the one to navigate the genre back to being all about the raw emotive of love.
- You can view the grainy (yet viewable) performances of "Chicken Grease", "Sugar Daddy", and "Charade" after the cut for one more time, or for the next billion times :)