Tuesday, August 30, 2005

James Brown Review

Just for fun, from Yahoo!:

In one of Brown's typically large-scale productions, more than 35 people trotted out onstage over the course of Saturday's performance at the Greek Theater. His band, the Soul Generals, naturally was big: three horn players, three drummers, three guitarists and two bass players. Add the three background singers who comprise the Bitter Sweets, frequent soloist Tanya Rae and even a near-inaudible 12-piece string section.

A James Brown show, however, requires extras, and there were plenty of them: two female dancers with sculpted abs and bikini bottoms that advertised "J" and "B" on either cheek, emcee Danny Ray, escort R.J., a woman in a cream dress and dangly diamond earrings who slow-danced with Brown during "Try Me," an official-looking guy who gave a James Brown hand towel to a woman in the front row and even a goofy accountant type who sauntered onstage to dork his way through the finale, "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine."

The 72-year-old Brown might not be as active as he once was onstage, but he still offers a fair share of his patented slide steps, mike-stand acrobatics and hammy staging. It was an exercise in excess, with lots of visuals to enhance his funk foundation: simple, repetitive bass lines; chunks of rhythm guitar; occasional blues interludes; and those familiar J.B. grunts and squeals.

The spare parts of the set list have changed just a little: "Living in America" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," for example, were noticeably missing, while "If I Ruled the World" oddly made the cut, and a Spanish rap and a piece of OutKast's "The Way You Move" also were interjected.
Sounds like a night of good old-fashioned Advancement, especially the Spanish rap and Outkast bit.

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