Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings Celebrate Brooklyn! 2016

June 14, 2016 by

Despite the rain and a bit of a chill, the summer finally arrived in time for the kick off of the 2016 Celebrate Brooklyn! season. Concertgoers filed into the venue, passing savory aromas from the pop-up restaurants while searching for the perfect spot to watch Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. As show time neared to what would prove to be a most memorable performance, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings returned home and Brooklyn appeared overwhelmingly glad to have them back.

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Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings Open Celebrate Brooklyn! 2016 /photo by Al Pereira

Blue and purple lights illuminated the line of brass entering the stage. Casually, the horns of the Dap Kings waited for their bandleader’s cue. When that cue came, the stage exploded into what would be a funky, soulful night. The band started to break it down and the grooves ensued. Energy filled the stage as the band danced to the music.

The crowd erupted into a dancing frenzy when the Dap Kings began playing “When I Come Home” and then the mood calmed for a romantic performance of “Slow Down, Love” from the album, Give the People What They Want. Sharon Jones made it look easy to jump between octaves as she sang under the swooping stage lights and starry night.

Heartache dripped from the speakers during the band’s performance of “Retreat.” The trombone players swayed back and forth with Ms. Jones, while lights colored the amphitheater orange and blue. Next, under a splashy, mood-appropriate disco ball, the band performed a cover of Gladys Knight’s “Giving Up is Hard to Do.”

“They’re getting in the way of my storytelling,” Ms. Jones explained after taking off her shoes. Saxophones swung side-to-side, in-sync with Ms. Jones’ arms, her bare feet tearing up the stage dance floor.

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Sharon Jones Dances Off the Stage on Opening Night at Celebrate Brooklyn! 2016/ photo by Al Pereira

The tempo soon changed and the band slowed down to play the title track from 100 Days, 100 Nights, and all eyes watched Ms. Jones belt out the bittersweet classic. Then, she slowly exited the stage, leaving the band still playing.

Guitarist Binky Griptite called out to the audience, “She is ready to come out and give some more, but do you want some more?” The crowd screamed, the lights turned red and Ms. Jones appeared back on-stage to a slow drumroll.

“I got something to say!” she said, dedicating the encore song, “Get Up and Get Out” to her ongoing battle with cancer. Before singing the first note, she prepared the audience: “I’m going to start it off slow and then I’m going to end it fast!”

As the momentum built, the crowd clapped and jumped in an effort to keep up with Ms. Jones’ furious pace. She never stopped moving and eventually danced herself into the curtains and off the stage. If you want to see a sultry, funky soul show, find yourself a ticket to the next Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings concert!