D’Angelo Gives Triumphant Performance at Apollo Theater [VIDEOS]
After a 15-year hiatus, it’s safe to say that D’Angelo is officially back -- and he’s better than ever. The R&B crooner performed at the historic Apollo Theater in New York on Saturday (Feb. 7) in support of his latest release, ‘Black Messiah.’
The significance of the night's performance was twofold. For one, it marked D'Angelo's return to the Apollo stage after winning Amateur Night in 1991 when he was 16 year sold. Secondly, the 40-year-old piano man was performing on his late friend J Dilla's birthday.
Back by the Vanguard, his 10-piece band that featured virtuoso bassist Pino Palladino and ex-Time guitarist Jesse Johnson, D’Angelo performed a three-hour set of unbridled soul and funk. According to Billboard, the singer was a skillful bandleader as he performed his classic tunes -- three from ‘Brown Sugar’ and five from ‘Voodoo’ -- as well as new songs from ‘Black Messiah.’
D was at home on the Apollo stage turning all of his songs into infectious jam sessions. The sold-out crowd sang along to ‘Brown Sugar’ and during a rousing performance of ‘Chicken Grease,’ the entire venue felt like a church revival was taking place.
While performing ‘Back to the Future (Part 1),’ D'Angelo sang to the crowd, "So if you're wondering about the shape I'm in / I hope it ain't my abdomen that you're referring to," while patting his noticeably large belly.
D’Angelo ended his show with an encore of his sumptuous ballad ‘Untitled,’ a fan-favorite from his ‘Voodoo’ album. In a unique move, each band member walked off the stage one by one while they played until it's just only D at the piano. Essentially, he's picking up where he left off nearly 15 years ago -- just him playing the ivories.
On Feb. 11, D’Angelo will officially kick off his Second Coming tour in Europe. The trek starts Feb. 11 in Zurich, Switzerland and ends on March 7 in Brussels, Belgium.
Welcome back, D’Angelo.