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Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Doug E. Fresh and Mint Condition Bring Summer Block Party to Atlanta

On Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011 on yet another humid, but beautiful summer night in Atlanta, music lovers from around the city converged on Chastain Park Amphitheater for the Budweiser Superfest featuring Mint Condition, Doug E. Fresh, Jazzy Jeff, Anthony Hamilton, and the incomparable Jill Scott. The traffic to get to the show was absolutely maddening and by the time I found parking near the venue I had missed the Mint Condition performance. My sister however informed me that they wowed the crowd ready with hits like Pretty Brown Eyes, U Send Me Swinging and songs from their new album 7. I love that this group is composed of true musicians — a real live band, with instruments and great vocals. The World’s Greatest Entertainer, Doug E. Fresh took the stage to keep the  crowd hyped.  Though DJ Jazzy Jeff didn’t make it to this show, DJ Chill Will, his replacement managed to keep men, women and children dancing and and on their feet. As I made my way to will call, I could hear the soulful voice of Anthony Hamilton in the air. He was singing his hit song, Coming From Where I’m From. The crowd was excited and the vibe of being in the outdoor arena really did make us feel like we were enjoying an old school block party.

The maturity of Hamilton’s show, sound, and look has grown tremendously as he was dressed in all white, which he accessorized with a black jacket, white sneakers, and a white fedora. He looked like he was ready to have some fun. He continues his performance the songs “Cool,” “Charleneand “The Point of It All,” and made everyone in the place feel good with his own brand of Southern fried hospitality by taking fans to a church revival level as he left the stage and ran through the crowd singing “Jesus Can Work It Out.” Anthony ended his set and Doug E. Fresh came back onto the stage and kept the crowd warmed up for the main attraction by having everyone get out of their seats an do the Cupid Shuffle, Da Butt, and playing old school hip-hop that caused me to reminisce about my days in high school.

Soon the woman of the hour emerged with her new slender frame, wearing a beautiful metallic gold shirt with black leggings and four inch heels. Jill Scott, with her all male band began the set with her song “Shame” and greeted the audience with excitement, confidence and happiness.

A storyteller and a poet, Scott took us on a journey through her music singing about love lost and found, empowerment, and freedom. Always willing to be vulnerable, honest, and real, songs like “Quick” reveal how she feels about her relationship with her child’s father, “You moved into my house, gave me a son. It was so quick, the way that it happened, quick, the way that you left me – quick.” Singing to a sold-out crowd she continued to use her incredible and powerful vocals to connect with her fans on songs like Hate on Me, So In Love (duet with Anthony Hamilton) and some Scott classics like “Slowly Surely,” “A Long Walk,” “Cross My Mind,” “and a go-go version of “It’s Love.”

‘Jilly from Philly’ never left the stage during her 90 minute set. Instead she only paused briefly to take off her heels and change into flip flops as she aksed the crowd, “this is a block party, right?” Scott ended the show with “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)” showing off her skills in an opera format. -christa e. jackson