So although I loved the new album, especially with its direction now adding rock influences along with the (much needed nowadays) funk and soul, I must admit I was approaching this live event with some trepidation. My last experience seeing D'Angelo live a couple of years ago left me feeling somewhat cheated. So here he now arrived with the aptly named 'The Second Coming Tour', backed by eight musicians, which included a horn section and special guests, Jesse Johnson (guitarist from legendary funk band The Time) and Pino Palladino (bassist who recently played on Omar's newly recorded version of his classic 'There's Nothing Like This). The audience were ready. I was ready. We wanted to see for ourselves if the recent hype being generated from America was true about D'Angelo.
As has always been the case, the aura of Prince has never been too far behind D';Angelo, and like The Purple One, he also borrows much from Jimi Hendrix, making a fusion of the three music legends, yet somehow making it all his own.. He worked with 'Lady', giving it a sexier feel than the original recording. There was no doubt, this was the new, improved D'Angelo who is back in the business of making real music. He eventually gave the audiences two encores. The very last song was his biggest hit to date, 'Untitled (How Does It Feel)' and it was performed in a very special way. As D'Angelo sat at the keyboards singing the song (with the audience providing accompaniment on the soulful chorus), one by one the band members played or sang and then left the stage, eventually leaving the main man alone on stage. Perfect ending for a perfect show.