Joss Stone Ends Her Tour At The Wiltern - 10/24
Nearly 10 years since her first album “Soul Sessions” (2003) was released and Joss Stone fans couldn’t be more thrilled with the release of her fourth and full-circle album.
Released on July 31st, “The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2” sold 24,000 copies in its first week, which made it Stone’s fourth Top 10. She has received some flack however, regarding one of the songs on the new album, "The High Road," orginally sung by the Broken Bells.
But let's face it, it's an uphill battle for any artist who releases a cover - especially anywhere outside of the comfort of their own home on YouTube. So listen and decide for yourself.
Her second record, “Mind Body & Soul” (2003) topped the charts and won her three Grammy nominations (one for Best New Artist). She also earned Two Brit Awards that same year.
But fans probably remember Stone and specifically that year for her broken-hearted yet self-valuing single “You Had Me” which became a UK Top 10 Singe. “Introducing Joss Stone (2007), showed independence as the album displayed her songwriting abilities. As it reached No.2 on the US charts, Stone received the highest debut ever for a female British solo artist on the Billboard charts.
Over 11 million albums were sold, and Stone became a household name in America.
Perhaps it’s the raw and gut felt notes that resound from the tall, slender, seemingly laid back singer. Or maybe it’s the chemistry she has on stage with legends like James Brown, Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson. Either way, her undying love and admiration for Aretha Franklin is very much appreciated in her music.
Stone has stories to tell. Stories to which her fans can relate. And they way in which she presents them musically can make even a strictly heavy metal listener, second guessing their preferred genre. So the overwhelming turn out at her Wednesday night showing at the Wiltern was expected.
But some how the soulful, British hippie – three things you’d never expect one person to embody – Joss Stone, managed to do so making fans feel like they were dancing in Central Park as the sun sets on a summer day, last night at the Wiltern.
And considering how regular performing shoeless is for the soulful sensation, the stage was set to her comfort.
Using every inch of the Wiltern stage, a lovely carpet was laid underneath her microphone stand, for her dancing pleasure – and dance she did indeed.
To her left was a drummer, bassist and guitar player. Directly behind was a mini horn section consisting of a trumpet, and two saxophone players. And finally, to Stone’s right were three back up singers – all dressed in earth tones with slight glimmers of gold – which matched her short leopard print dress that was lined with brown sequins.
The outfit choice was unexpected (to say the least) as it didn’t really coordinate with her standard microphone "floral scarf"decorations but her energy and movements were true to form and very much appreciated.
“Sing that shit Joss,” yelled one rambunctious fan repeatedly throughout her first three songs.
While her love for Stone is presumably equal to other fans in attendance, her expressions not so much. While I think don’t think it’s the best idea to categorize the audiences of Los Angeles concerts (as they surprise me in diversity alone every time), I believe it’s safe to say last night’s crowd was quite mature. Or rather, refined.
Unlike the Citizen Cope concert I attended a few weeks ago, chairs were positioned in the standard areas. Men and women – mostly couples or small groups that looked like they were having a ‘girls night out’ – sat with cups of wine (and a few gin and tonics) in hand. Conversations were quiet, interactions intimate but as the lights dimmed at 9:30pm and old Aretha played through the speakers, all focus went to the stage. And, rightfully so as Stone made a big entrance.
The last of her tour, it was evident that she wanted to go out with a bang. But within seconds of her opening song “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People,” a song from her new album, you could hear that she had been touring for some time. Before any musician or singer could pick up on the exhaustion, Stone commented on it herself.
“This is the last stop on our tour. I’m so happy to be here, but my voice is a little ragged. You may here, but we’ll just have to yell through it,” she said.
Without command the audience cut her off with cheering. Next was “While You’re Out Looking For Sugar,” another new tune.
Freely dancing across the stage, interacting with her band and fellow singers, Stone was clearly in her element and the audience in heaven. That is until she followed up the second selection with old favorites.
A mash up of “You Had Me” and “Super Duper Love” had those sitting down on their feet, those tapping their feet shamelessly two-stepping, and those clapping their hands flailing their arms back and forth to the feet. Everyone knew the songs. Everyone knew every word… so when it came time to sing along as Stone classically leaned the mic toward the crowd, everyone put their best notes forward.
Her feet didn’t stay put, and neither did her fans. If dancing be the proof of a successful show, then as desired, Stone ended her tour on the highest note possible.
Check out her new album here.
Read more of NT's show coverage here.
Reach Staff Reporter Cortney Riles here.