D'Angelo and Questlove's 'Soulquarians: Brothers In Arm' soul session at New York's Brooklyn Bowl on Monday (Mar. 4) teetered towards the religious. The intimate set -- orchestrated by only the singer behind the keys and the Roots drummer -- effectively revitalized fans' anticipation for new music from D'Angelo.
The one-hour set was an inside peek at the duo's studio sessions. Both performed a 10-song mashup of the singer's vintage to virgin cuts ("Go Back to the Thing," "Really Love") and funkadelic-soul classics (Bobby Womack's "Woman's Gotta Have It," S.O.S. Band's "Tell Me If You Care," Prince's "New Position"), transitioning from song to song with just a swift strike to a key and a seductive groan.
In between two-stepping, singing along and even competing with D'Angelo's signature falsetto, concertgoers glared in disbelief at the magic Questlove and D'Angelo so organically created.
The jam session was therapy for all, including D'Angelo. "Let him know that he's loved... cause if you don't you're gonna be waiting [until] 2042," Questlove said to fans, pleading for them to cheer louder for D'Angelo as he blushed and crouched down behind the keys.
The singer, who returned to the stage in the beginning of last year in London, may have shied away from compliments and cheers last night, but Questlove -- the one person who's been working closely with him in his upcoming album -- suggested he needed the reassurance that his return is welcomed and much-anticipated. This was all for his and our benefit.
Since the debut of his sophomore album "Voodoo" 13 years ago, D'Angelo has been isolated while apparently dealing with his demons, stemming from his near-death car accident, drug addiction to pressures from the media. But, as seen since he stepped on every stage last year -- from Essence to Bonnaroo, alongside Questlove -- D'Angelo is back. There's no need to ask Questlove anymore.
"I'm tired of people calling me, asking me about the record!" Questlove joked, right before D'Angelo left every one in attendance speechless with an encore of "Lady." "Is the record almost finished?" he turned and asked D'Angelo.
D'Angelo only needed a one-word answer: "Yes."
Check out the set-list below:
1. D'Angelo's "Go Back to the Thing"/ Sly & the Family Stone's "Let Me Have it All"
2. Funkadelic's "Cosmic Slop"
3. Bobby Womack's "Woman's Gotta Have It" / D'Angelo's "The Line"
4. Sly & the Family Stone's "(You Caught Me) Smilin'"
5. The S.O.S. Band's "Tell Me if You Care"
6. Ohio Player's "Our Love Has Died"
7. D'Angelo's "Alright"/ Curtis Mayfield's "Mother's Son"
8. D'Angelo's "Really Love"
9. Prince's "New Position"/ D'Angelo's "Africa"
10. D'Angelo's "Lady" (Encore)