[UPDATE: While we were patiently waiting for D’Angelo and The Roots‘ spooked-out masterpiece of a performance from Afro-Punk to make it’s way to the internets, D went ahead and dropped a whole damn album. Which — you can rest assured– is all we’ve been/all we’re going to be listening to for ages. Luckily for us, the good folks at Afro-Punk have gifted us the ultimate palette cleanser, letting loose the entirety of the set for all the heads to get with. Hit the player below and enjoy, fam.]
If you were one of the thousands waiting for D’Angelo to descend on Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park Sunday night to provide the crowning jewel of Afropunk festival i.e. the mighty’s reunion with The Roots crew upon the main stage, then you’re probably still brushing off the cognitive smoke from an evening that’s burnt itself right onto your brain. While there was certainly a bit of anxiety as to whether soul music’s great redeemer would actually grace the stage (as he ran a little over an hour late, a situation which afforded me some primo real estate in the audience) as we started catching glimpses of Captain Kirk and Mark Kelly getting their gear right, we felt confident Questlove‘s play-by-play setlist via Instagram wouldn’t be drifting into the “what could have been” column.
D took to the stage in a blaze of deep purple glory, opening the set with a raucus rendition of Funkadelic‘s earthy and blue rocker “Satisfy,” then transitioning right into a sinister and swinging take on Bob Marley‘s “Burnin’ And Lootin’,” injecting a heavy Hendrix–on-“Machine Gun”-meets-Dilla vibe into the groove, which was one of many stand-out, borderline haunting moments of the evening. Another being D & Co joining forces with Dr. Madd Vibe himself AKA Angelo Moore of Fishbone for an absolutely epic cover of the foundational crew’s “Black Flowers.” The night saw a spooked-out take on The Ohio Players‘ “Our Love Has Died,” a rugged and raw version of D’s own “Greatdayndamornin'” and was closed out by a true-to-form cover of Prince‘s blessed hard-funk b-side “She’s Always In My Hair.”
What took place on that stage was less a musical performance and more divinely (or devilishly) inspired ritual that possessed us all. Whatever it was, the voodoo was in full effect. Those that not in NY–or who somehow missed the eerie vibes being cast out across BK–can catch a couple of clips of the legendary ensemble playing cuts from The Ohio Players, Bob Marley and Prince below. But be sure to check back as we’ll keep updating with higher quality footage as it makes its way from the internets. Get your screwface ready, this ism is strictly top grade.