- The summer spirit festival embraced it’s name because it was hot as hell!
- Avery Sunshine and her boo thang were too cute together and it didn’t hurt that they were also awesome performers.
- Leela James did a lot of yelling at the crowd but she did bring the country funk
- Bela Donna showed that women can put it in the pocket just like the men
- Dj Kool and Sugar Bear still got it
Janelle was a true entertainer and showed why she deserves all of the popularity and endorsements
- Erykah was magic, pure magic
Summer Spirit Fest began today and the show was amazing! Below is a recap of Day 1. We hope you will join us again tomorrow for the recap of Day 2.
Daley kicked off the show with smooth melodies to cool out the crowd during the hottest part of the day. He didn’t need a Dj, a drummer, or backup singers. Shoot like Pootie he almost didn’t need any words or music. His voice alone was enough to kick off the show with a smooth vibe.
After Daley, Avery Sunshine took the stage. True to her name, she brought the heat showing her charisma, great story telling ability, and amazing voice. During the middle of her set, she mentioned going through a divorce but falling in love again with one of her musicians. She then unveiled a new song where she talked about being willing to give up her ice cream, shoes, and bags for her man. That’s some incredible love! Those two love birds went on to play a few more upbeat songs before taking the crowd to church with a gospel classic. Avery was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Following Avery, Gregory Porter took the stage. His voice and band was amazing! Their performance was probably a bit more mellow than the crowd was ready for based on some of the chatter in the audience but it reminded me of when an award winning performer is doing their thing in the metro. Just because you walk by a great and don’t notice them don’t mean they weren’t great. Wake the hell up and enjoy their greatness! Gregory Porter’s arrangements were a true treat after Avery’s upbeat performance.
A late but energetic Leela James hit the stage after Gregory Porter. “My black people” she repeatedly shouted to get the crowd into it. Her topics ranged from getting it on to unity against police brutality. Although the levels weren’t great for her performance, Leela still had the crowd on their feet taking them back to the hits of the past and paying tribute to some of those we have lost including Prince.
Continuing with the energy Leela brought, Bela Donna took the stage and showed every out of towner what DC is about. They played gogo arrangements of Formation, Hello, Rise Up,and a few of their own songs before Dj Kool joined them. The whole crowd could not help but jump to their feet for Let Me Clear My Throat. It has been 20 years since Dj Kool released the classic but he performed it like it came out yesterday and the crowd responded as such. Shortly after Dj Kool took the stage, Sugar Bear joined him performing the gogo remix of Crush On You. From there, he went into the EU classic Doin Da Butt. At this point, all of the people who were too hot to standup let that go out the window and stood up to shake something.
The Go Go collab officially warmed up the crowd for our favorite android. Janelle Monae promptly took the stage and transported the crowd to the future. Her stage presence was amazing. Standout performances include her rendition of The Jackson 5s “I want you back, Prime Time, Cold War, Tight Rope,and of course her most recent hit Yoga. That was most of her set but that’s because there were very few low moments in the entire performance.
Erykah Badu closed out the show at 10pm. By this time the crowd was extremely hot, feeling the drinks, and ready for some Baduism. All of the women with 2 feet high head wraps had officially found their seats and were anxiously awaiting Ms. Badu. When Badu took the stage it was like watching David Copperfield in the flesh. She was pure magic. I should have prefaced this section by mentioning Erykah is one of my top 3 artists. That didn’t influence my rating of her performance though. She told jokes and performed her classics perfectly. In fact, at several points in the show, you could see here getting pretty emotional as if the songs were bringing up ghosts of the past that weren’t the most pleasurable. This human side to the music is why I’m such a huge Erykah fan though. She doesn’t just sing the songs, you brings you into those moments with descriptive lyrics, honesty, and mesmorizing hooks. Erykah was the perfect close to an awesome day.
Erykah was the perfect close to an awesome day 1 of the Summer Spirit Festival. Our hats go off to CDE presents for putting together such a great show. We’re anxiosly awaiting Day 2 to begin. If you will be at the festival, come find the Stereo folks and ask for “Booger.” I’ll be there, eating good and enjoying the good music of Day 2 at the Summer Spirit Festival.