Monday, March 31, 2008


by Ma'at Atkins
Neo Soul captured teh momnet last Wednesday when two East Coasters of the genres stars, Jill Scott and upstart Raheem DeVaughn, did it up for its fans for the REAL THING TOUR
First up was Raheem Devaughn whose 30 minute set wa set up like a funky jazz art gallery as he and his bandmates were joined by Chi-town spoken word artsist Malik Yusef (who did sign language for the hearing imparied as well) and NYC painter
Demont Peekaso (Love the name!) whose paintings were on easels on stage (mostly of 70s R&B greats and hip hop artsists) is featured as the visual creator for the recording artist, who painted on an easel while DeVaughn performd (He created a St. Louis motif drawing atteh end of his set).
Quite the lively performer, Deavughn sang tunes from both of CD's, 2005;s The Love Experience and 2007's "Love Behind The Melody." An added touch was his Bob-Dylanesque words on cardboard for each title for his songs. The highlights of his set were when he jumped out into the isles to sing across the lower level of the Fox (with much security around him) and his pumping the stage simulating his sexual prowess for his woman. When he ended with his popular songs, The Grammy nominated, "Woman" and "Guess who Loves You More," it was evdient, especially from the screams from the ladies in the audience, that DeVaughn was claiming his name as the next neo-soul male artsist since DAngleo to project masculinity and sensivity in 21st century soul music.
After a 30 minute break, it was time for the Queen oif Neo Soul--Jill Scott. Dressed in a simple brown knee high dress and a butch half-mohawk haircut, Scott did not disappoint as she gave teh crowd a smorgasbord of her many hits and aldum cuts from each of her three studio Cds including her 2007 release, the Grammy-nominated The Real Thing.

Cell phone pic of Jill Scott in concert (Photo by Ma'atology)
What was the most interseting was, Scott used the stage as her pulpit to talk about various events in her life including her recent divorce to her husband of five years, Lyle (She said that she wa spissed about it but kne wshe had to let it go) and as an life advocatae for fluffly women to appreciate being "nasty" when it came to loving sex. Her testimonies almost came across as male bashing, but Scott redeemed herself when she talked about the importance of loving "our brothers" who are working hard and told them to stand up in crowd.
From the opener, "Let it Be" to "Whenever" to her showcasing her haunting operatic voice on "He Loves Me" and the two encores (singing "Is it the Way" and 'Hate on me") and the impromptu spoken word piece, "And I Heard" Scott gave the St. Louis crowd a two and a half hour set full of delight depsite sound and mike troubles throughout her set.

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