All too often I think I take for granted just how many good concerts we citizens of Los Angeles have the opportunity to see. So when I take the time to really think about it, I'm flat out amazed. The fact that two of the best shows I've seen so far in my life happened within the space of less than a week has me pretty amazed right now.
Last night's show from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at the El Rey could not have been much more different from the Jonathan Richman show that I wrote about earlier in the week. However, they were both shows that made me so aware of why I love music as much as I do. The Dap Kings seem to exist completely in another time (i.e. sometime in the 1960s.) I knew this from listening to their recordings so after the introduction was given, and the curtain was cleared, I prepared myself for a SHOW. The eight piece Dap Kings took the stage, impeccably dressed, and warmed the crowd up with delightful, impossibly tight (you know, to the point where the horn palyers moved their instruments back and forth in unison while playing) soul. Watching them was a bit awe inspiring, especially when Binky Griptite energed as the leader. He greeted the crowd, introduced the band, and sang a song. Then it came time for him to introduce Sharon Jones. It was clear from the beginning that she is a born performer. She burst onto stage dancing (and I'm not entirely sure that she ever stopped dancing during the performance.) She gave us some fantastic lines, "I need to strut before this next one, give me some struttin' music." The audience members that were pulled on stage to dance (and there were quite a few) were all wildly entertaining. And her voice is, well there really aren't enough descriptive words for how powerful her voice is. Her cover of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," gave me chills. Posted below is a video of her, her band, and Lee Fields rehearsing a James Brown montage. I think it's pretty neat. "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," is included at the end.