For any musician, spending more than an hour and a half onstage is an impressive feat. For the dapper Aloe Blacc and his unfairly funky backing band The Grand Scheme, keeping the sold out Nectar Lounge dancing for that length of time seemed effortless. As the band offered their take on the Al Green classic, Blacc announced: "Welcome to the church of 'Love and Happiness.'" Preach Aloe, preach!
Soul music is timeless fun--as the "Soul Train" line that formed down the center of the crowd proves--and to that extent, it's not a music to be kept within boundaries. Leading into his cover of Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale," Blacc mentioned "I figured it was alright because rock 'n' roll comes from rhythm and blues." But he didn't stop there, and The Grand Scheme followed; reggae is soul music from Jamaica, salsa soul music for Latinos and dancehall, well, dancehall is just fun. Blacc's vocal range was almost as impressive as the range of songs he and his band were able to cover: from Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" to a Bob Marley-laced reggae breakdown to Green Day's "Basket Case," they managed to bounce across the board without accomplishing anything less than excellence.
In the chorus of his single from Good Things that became the theme song for HBO's "How To Make It In America," Blacc croons "If I share with you my story, would you share your dollar with me?" And I'll be damned if I didn't shell out the last few bills in my clip to pick up his triple-LP.
Stones Throw in Seattle weekend continues with Mayer Hawthorne's DJ set at HG Lodge tonight, followed by his show at Neumos tomorrow. Hit the jump for a few more frames Of Aloe, plus some of the noteworthy opener Dice.
Opener Dice deserves her own mention too--the young emcee and vocalist played a short set, but one that was glaringly honest and sonically beautiful. With a few tracks from her recent release The Foundation--including "Love Games," for which she was joined onstage by Sol--and an unreleased track, "Things I Couldn't Say Outloud," her performance only solidified the notion that Dice is one to keep an eye on.