Aloe Blacc woos Vancouver (Live) [Photos/Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – When was the last time you saw a young black Moses-type part the sea of fans in order to start a soul train line? For the lucky attendees of Fortune Sound Club last night, it’s still fresh in memory. HipHopCanada had done a series of “Soothe the Soul” posts to hype up the show, but Aloe Blacc showed us that he does not simply soothe, he can get you right riled up as well.
Openers The David Morin Project started the night off right with a full band – a recurring motif during the night – and a swinging set of soul-infused songs that integrated some rap in there as well. A very impressive performance, only to be followed by the veteran and Grammy winner Chin Injeti. Chin’s set felt almost like a jam session, as everyone got a chance to showcase – the backup singers belted it right out during the breakdown of “Money.” Chin switches up his style effortlessly, and nothing about his performance seemed forced or out of place. The chemistry was incredible and Aloe Blacc himself joined the rawkus crew for a number, before moving on to headline the anticipated show.
When Aloe hit the stage the entire room seemed to change – the lighting became more dramatic, the crowd more attentive and of course the vocals gave some universal goosebumps. He started it out with “Hey Brother” and transitioned easily into, well, pretty much every song from Good Things. His voice simply floated throughout the room as he hit all the favorites, of course saving “I Need a Dollar” for near the end. “Femme Fatale,” “Miss Fortune” and “Green Lights” gave us a reason to smile, but of course “You Make Me Smile” really hit that point home. It went a little over the top as Blacc got the audience to hug and affirm whichever special person they had come to the show with; I mean, maybe some people didn’t have a cutie pie to hug and they felt bad about that. But that’s beside the point.
The point is, though, that Aloe Blacc is a master of audience interaction and between the soul train and the extended break down encore, there was an element of timelessness that can’t be reproduced. I felt like I’d seen one of the jazz greats in their heyday, and then I realized that that’s exactly what I’d seen: a master in his own time. Thank you Aloe Blacc.
Written by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada
Photography by Tyler Simpson for HipHopCanada