Words by Harriet Kaplan, Photo credit: Farah Sosa/LA Phil Social media (IG): @farahstop
Three-time GRAMMY Award Winning artist Jill Scott has many gifts. All were on display at a recent tour stop celebrating the 20th anniversary of her landmark album, “Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1” during a sold-out show at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday, June 22nd. Scott and her versatile and exceptionally talented band (who more than kept up with her!) performed the album in its entirety.
Accompanying the music was striking video footage above the stage projecting images of Black love from the decades of television shows and films, that featured “Claudine,” “The Wood” and “Poetic Justice.”
The touchstone themes of her lyrics ruminate on life, love, relationships and self-empowerment. All so important and relevant as conceptualized 23 years ago as they are today. Thus, they continue to strike a universe chord. Among the highlights performed included: “Do You Remember,” “Exclusively,” “Gettin’ In The Way,” “Honey Molasses,” and “Long Walk.”
Her voice is stunning supple instrument. Scott also sang in Spanish so beautifully as if was her first language. It seemed come so naturally and authentically to her and it was quite impressive and breathtaking to witness live.
The Philadelphia, PA born singer/songwriter, poet, social activist, actress and model seemed to make every concertgoer in the thousands have a personal, intimate connection with her. That no easy feat but Jill Scott is a rare artist is more than capable of creating that unique dynamic and bond. Also, fans could be heard singing loudly and enthusiastically to every song.
With an incredibly earthy and sparking personality, she held court like the queen she is. Onstage, she was confident and has a commanding presence. Scott is also raw and sensual. She also made a bold visual statement in her stage attire resplendent in flashy pantsuit with a gorgeous brightly colored kimono.
The stories she told between songs were entertaining, thoroughly original, irreverent and funny as hell as were the spontaneous, on-the-fly ad libs. There more serious moments that captivated the audiences with precious insights that were poignant and meaningful, too. Jill Scott’s unforgettable and outstanding performance at the Hollywood Bowl ranks and will be remembered as one of the best concerts of 2023.
Adam Blackstone, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and bassist, who served as a musical director in 2005 for Jill Scott, opened the show. He showcased two show-stopping artists that included Roc Nation vocalist Darius Scott, known as Dixson. He performed two covers making them his own with emotionally emotive, stirring rendition of Bill Withers’ “Just the Two of Us” and D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel”). Jon B. wowed the crowd with his energetic and magnetic stage presence taking over the stage dazzling the audience performing two of his hit songs: “Someone to Love” and “They Don’t Know.”
DJ Diamond Kuts more than warmed up the audience literally rocking the house between sets with an ambitious selection of rap, hip hop and Urban music. See the full gallery of photos from this show here. Photo credit: Farah Sosa/LA Phil Social media (IG): @farahstop
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