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Live Review: Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings - Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

Live Review: Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings - Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

Friday 5th September, 2014 11:41AM

If you were looking for an antidote to a sodden and dreary evening in Auckland last night, you needn't have looked past Takapuna’s Bruce Mason Centre for one of the most potent cures going. Back on the road, and back in New Zealand for the first time since beating cancer last year, Sharon Jones and her faithful band, the Dap-Kings put on a memorable showcase of arguably the best soul and funk touring today.

Before the 58-year-old star herself took to the stage however, the Dap-Kings themselves warmed up the buzzing crowd with a medley of jazzy standards, followed by a welcome mini-set from the Dap-Kings backup vocalists, Saun and Starr (AKA the Dapettes). By the time Jones’ compact frame strides on to the stage, the crowd have banished the miserable outside weather completely from their minds, and are ready to dance. What’s immediately obvious is that Jones hasn’t lost any of the energy or vitality from her recent health battles. In fact she appears fitter than ever as she parades from one side of stage to the other through opener, ‘Stranger to my Happiness’, one of a slew of songs that gets an airing from newest record, ‘Give the People What They Want’.

Over the ensuing 90 minutes, the energetic crowd seem determined to match her energy as well. Dance moves are traded between the stage and the floor, a fan is invited on stage for a colour co-ordinated duet (“His jacket matched my dress!”) and impromptu tangos break out amongst the crowd. The set list features a selection predominately from the groups last few records but it’s the opening bars of ‘100 Days, 100 Nights’ that draws the biggest applause.

In a mid-show highlight, new song ‘Get Up and Get Out’ featured a passionate tale of Jones’s determination to beat her illness and get back on stage. As her spoken interlude continued, and the band looked to get the song back on track, she feigned protest - “Wait a minute, I’m not finished!”. On this form, that’s a statement no one could dare argue with.

Review by Paul Larsen


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