Monday, July 28, 2008

"Help Me, Dap Kings!"

OK, I admit it. I hadn't been to a summer zoo concert for years.

My interest waned in direct proportion to the increase in the crowds and the subsequent rise in ticket prices, along with concessions that force concert-goers to buy all their beverages from on-site vendors. Though I admit that back in the day our blanket was known to have some pretty rockin' screwdrivers that had been smuggled in as a cooler of "juice," now you can't even bring in your own bottled water.

But when music mavens K&J said they'd scored tickets to see Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, a crazy good funk/soul group, we jumped at the chance to hear them live. We'd been knocked out by the video of their song, 100 Days, 100 Nights, so on a recent Friday night we packed up a cooler of foodstuffs (no "juice" this time) and headed out to the zoo.

A blanket had been staked out earlier and, thanks to the magic of cell phones, we found our group happily ensconced on the sloping lawn with a fine view of the stage and a spread of the most delicious munchies one could hope for. BTW, if you'd like something more than mediocre merlot or over-oaked chard for your picnic, amble over to the nearby Afri-Cafe for better choices and no long lines.

When Ms. Jones was brought onstage after a musical introduction by her very tight backing band, this tiny titan (she can't be more than five feet tall) showed that she was a legitimate heir to James Brown not just in the power of her singing but in the energy of her performance. Needless to say, we were on our feet most of the concert and couldn't have been more satisfied when it was all over. So if you notice an artist you like on the roster, get your posse together and get over there. You won't regret it!


Josh said...

I'm so jealous I missed this show. I had friends in town and simply could not attend. I also missed out months ago back when she came and performed to a quickly sold out show at the Doug Fir.

Lucky you to have made it! She's an amazing performer from what I hear. Full of fire!

kab said...

I am here to tell you that she almost set the stage on fire with the energy of her dancing alone. What a spitfire! And don't miss any opportunity to see her or her band...truly fabulous.