Twenty thousand people can't be wrong, Sharon Jones is the best. Last Saturday, the peoples came out in force to give major love to Miss Jones and her Dap-Kings, in what can only be described as the largest and best performance of her career. The free show, in the final weekend of Celebrate Brooklyn, was three and a half hours of fun and funk. Her set alone pushed the two and a half hour mark, going right up against curfew. You can't stop her! You can only hope to contain her.
- The Reason
- He Upset Your Dreams
- Wouldn't You Rather Have Me
- Intro: How Do I Let A Good Man Down / How Long / Not Gonna Dry / 100 Days / Game Gets Old
- If You Call
- Without a Heart
- This Land Is Your Land
- Give It Back
- When I Come Home (with Lee Fields)
- Stranded in Your Love (with Lee Fields)
- Ladies (Lee Fields)
- What Can I Do
- Not Gonna Cry
- Tell Me
- I Learned the Hard Way
- Better Things
- When You Love Me
- Mama Don't Like My Man
- Game Gets Old
- Got to Be the Way It Is / How Do I Let A Good Man Down / Bobby Bland
- Window Shopping
- She Ain't A Child
- ENCORE: 100 Days, 100 Nights
When I think of Sharon's performance, I always think of the endless amount of energy she puts into her signing and her performance. She's 54-years old and 5 feet tall and she danced, sang and shimmied longer, further and harder than all the other stupid manufactured pop stars combined. Her inspiration is James Brown -- both from Augusta, GA. He played every show as if his life depended on it, thus Sharon Jones does the same. Three songs into her show and she was sweating up a storm. She did two extended dance numbers, one of all the fad dance from the 60s, the mash potato, the swim, the funky chicken, etc. Then, another dance from her African ancestors and from Native-Americans.
If that's wasn't enough groovin' for you, she brought up some P.Y.T.s from the crowd for the funky show stopper, I'm Not Going to Cry. Then she showed the girls how to properly get down. I believe they call it "getting schooled". I loved how Sharon yelled at one of the chicks, "Girl, put your drink down."
There were so many highlights of the night. You have Lee Fields coming on for a few duets and to take over the show with his tune "Ladies". He scanned the crowd to flirt with the ladies and tell them, "I bet your man is satisfied." You also have Sharon getting emotional from the massive turnout.
For Sharon, this was a return home after being on the road since April, doing headlining shows and opening for Cyndi Lauper. The night before, she did a gig in Atlanta. I do believe that makes her the hardest working woman in music. During her show, she gave shout outs to her Brooklyn high school and some of her family members who came to the show. By the time she got to the encore, she was dizzy from the excitement from the show and ended up speaking in tongues.
Her story is just as remarkable as her work ethic. She didn't make it as a singer in her youth and spent most of her adult years in various jobs. The one everyone points out is her stint as a prison guard at Rikers Island. It was only until the late 90s where she found music work as a wedding singer and backing vocalist for Fields. Then Daptone Records was founded and made her the cornerstone of the label. Now, she's an international star. There's a great autobiography in there somewhere.
Part of her success is a mixture of her timeless soul sound, her backstory and her must-see live shows. I never real thought of the Daptone recordings and the brief success of Amy Winehouse (who used the Dap-Tones as her backing band) as revivalists, but more about extending the tradition. Trends and styles come and go, but certain classic sounds (soul, funk, disco, rockabilly, country-western, garage) will always have an audience.
Back to Saturday, it was just general craziness and massive amount of people in Prospect Park. The line to get in from the 9th St. entrance was at least a 45-60 minute wait at 7pm. I hadn't seen that many white people in line since the iPad came out. If only those people knew that the 11st street entrance was only 10-15 minutes. Thus, many people just decided to camp out outside the gates.
So, if every show was like a Sharon Jones and Dap-kings show, I would be happiest guy in the world. It was definitely the most fun I've had at a show this year. I wish I could go to more shows where I can get my groove on instead of the folded arms and nodding to the beat stance that I'm used to.
And for you, the best set of pictures I've taken this year.
The other popular Daptone band, the Budos Band, took opening honors. I've got their albums and they put a smile on my face because they are so awesomely '70s. Each song is like a theme from the 70s cop show. You got that wacka-cha-wacka-cha guitars, the funky bass, the afro-cuban percussion and sweet and jazzy horn parts. Their third self-titled album comes out this week.