Esperanza Spalding kicked off her Emily’s D+Evolution Tour last night here in San Francisco to a sold out show at The Independent. I didn’t know what to expect as the first time I saw her live, she was performing songs from Chamber Music Society, and I honestly wasn’t feeling it compared to her earlier work. That said, last night she was like a voodoo priestess and put a spell on me.
The Emily’s D+Evolution Tour is everything!
There was the funk and storytelling of Meshell Ndegeocello. The feeling of a Sade song, but taking it one step deeper to truly grab the soul. And then the beautiful melodic voice we’ve all grown to love from Esperanza Spalding. Honestly, it was a breath of fresh air to finally experience something musically different.
Esperanza describes the Emily project as “we are putting on a play, sort of, influenced by surrealists poets and experimental theater movement in New York.” She goes on further to mention that with “the Emily project, I’m just exploring that more; How can we like create that other world.”
The Emily’s D+Evolution Tour is art at its purest form. The only downside of the show was that at times it was difficult to hear all the words, as you knew you were missing out on the artistry of a gifted lyricist. That said, even not catching every word, her music spoke to me on a different level where words weren’t needed. The new songs are organismic, like the ones that give you after shocks. I’m still feeling them and holding back the urge to yell out “yes, yes!!”
At the end of the show, Esperanza explains that she is trying to “capture a feeling of very nice vibes.” Well, she out did herself as she not only captured nice vibes with the Emily project, she conquered it.
I can’t think of a show that I’ve seen lately that had a theatrical side, amazing musicianship and a voice that takes you on a journey to experience the creativity of a gifted soul.
There is no news on if or when the songs from the Emily’s D+Evolution Tour will be released, but I dying to get my hands on a copy. If you don’t have tickets already, this is
a concert an experience that is not to be missed.
May 7 – Los Angeles, Calif., El Rey Theatre
May 15 – New York, N.Y., Le Poisson Rouge
May 16 – Boston, Mass., Paradise Rock Club
May 17 – Philadelphia, Pa., Theatre Of Living Arts
June 12 – Brooklyn, N.Y., Prospect Park Bandshell (Celebrate Brooklyn! Perf. Arts Fest)
June 13 – Washington, D.C., Various Venues (DC Jazz Festival)
June 14 – Cincinnati, Ohio, 20th Century Theatre
June 16 – Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Cain Park
June 18 – Carmel, Ind., The Palladium
June 19 – Madison, Wis., Barrymore Theatre
June 20 – Fargo, N.D., Fargo Theatre
June 21 – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Various Venues (Groove-FM Jazz Winnipeg Festival)
June 24 – Des Moines, Iowa, Wooly’s
June 25 – Milwaukee, Wis., Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest)
June 28 – Chicago, Ill., Lincoln Hall
June 29 – Chicago, Ill., Lincoln Hall
July 1 – Birmingham, Ala., Iron City”
July 2 – Nashville, Tenn., 3rd & Lindsley
July 3 – Atlanta, Ga., Terminal West
July 4 – New Orleans, La., Mercedes-Benz Superdome (Essence Music Festival)