Concert Review: V103 Summer Block Party

Nothing special about this concert pic, i just like the lights, cameras, action of it.

A little something I wrote in the notes section of my phone 
after the V103 Summer Block Party at Northerly Island. 
Super loosey-goosey and unedited.

CHICAGO. Really wasn’t interested in coming to the block party. Well at some point I was, but today not so much. I had to be convinced to come and not sell my ticket. I’m glad I came though if for no other reason to be close to the water to end my Cancer season (we’re officially in Leo season) and to just be among tha people. It was lots and lots of people. At times it took my breath away as we seemed so close to one another with little walking room or personal space.

SWV: I heard them as I entered the venue. Nelly: He was all over the place and only rapping pieces of his songs and playing other folks music. Kelly Rowland: Why did she even come on stage? It was like she was merely Nelly’s guest. What did her contract/rider say? Lol lol lol.

BBD: Their high energy was infectious, they did their thing pos def. It was really good seeing them, they gave me warm fuzzies and a trip down memory lane. They even gave us a NE medley. Rickey really got into When Will I See You Smile Again. Overall, NE/BBD will always be the quintesensial and well-polished boy band, and that says a lot. Their muscle memory gotta be off the chain.

DJ Maurice Culpepper got us partying music before Jill came on.

And then the fabulous Mrs. Jill Scott came on. As I said in my review of Common, It’s a blessing to see artists who I’ve grown with. We’ve grown simultaneously on our womanhood journeys. Anyhoo, I’ve been rocking with Jilly for a minute, going from seeing her in Philly, her poetry, being the voice of the Roots, “You Got Me,” her marriage, divorce, baby, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, James Brown movie, leaving her label—Hidden Beach, getting married again…

She came on stage: Flowing patterned summer jumpsuit with an overlay. Head shaved on one side and faux locs in a hanging updo. Lol lol lol. “A hanging updo…” Is that even possible? Bad description but point is “She was cute!” How bout this: Big Fine. Shaved side. Faux locks updo.

Sistas, we love Jill, but brothas lose their damned minds over Jill Scott. Brothas talmbout how they’d leave their partners over this womon. Funny how so many brothas secretly be loving on big girls. Ayeeee!

Brothas do not fight with their ladies when their partner drags them to see Jill. They pretend like they’re being coerced, but they truly love her. When I tell you the brothas were enjoying themselves and knowing the lyrics to songs. OMG, it was soooooo adorbs seeing Black men swoon over Jill and singing the songs very loudly and very off-key, it made me smile. This one dude in front of us got his whole life and his girl just kept smiling at him.

Jill was chilled tonight, though. She had her usual swag but more effortless and subdued arrangements. The live arrangements of the songs were dope…she was giving me a lil E. Badu, which is interesting cos I’ve neva really felt that vibe from her. Not that she was biting E’s stylo, but it was very laidback and smoooooooth . Her arrangements also forced people to listen to the lyrics to identify the songs.

Her setlist included: Golden, Whatever, Long Walk, Getting in the Way, Making You Wait, Crown Royal, The Way You Love Me, It’s Love, Hate on Me, My Petition, Oh Say Can You See, and He Loves Me.

Her commentary during and between songs was grown, real grown. On Making You Wait she ad-libbed, “but you coming in here with these sweat pants on.” She was referencing his “print.” At the end of Crown Royal, she gave a shout-out to all the “big di#$%s…”

She mentioned several times that this was “Live Music,” and later saying “No auto-tune tonight.” I loved the total live music factor about her and BBD—BBD’s sound & dancers and Jilly’s background singers. I always wanna feel like it’s live and fresh.

As usual she took it to the go-go on “It’s Love,” making me want to go to D.C. She also went into Da Butt. The crowd loved that and butt’s got to circlin’.

Jill gave a word about not “submitting” to everyone. Know who you’re with,” as she quoted, “Faith without effort is dumb. Ladies do the work.”

It’s funny how she did a short Diana Ross impersonation and prior to her doing it when she’s busted out with her handheld fan I said to myself, “She giving me Lady Di.” In my Diana Ross review I talked about her Diana’s red fan.

During My Petition, the acknowledgement of those who’ve been killed by state sanctioned violence hit home. Some people thought it was “too serious,” but I thought it was perfect and placed in her set perfectly. There was also a slideshow, images of our now ancestors. I thought about how My Petition, a letter to the U.S. to stop killing and discriminating against us, etc. Now that she’s a mother of a Black boy, I wonder how her thoughts and feelings about state sanctioned violence have evolved. I think she wrote the song before he was born.

Before moving to her next song she drops: The U.S. is home to the brave slave.

Overall, good block party though I think this is my last year going. Getting over to Northerly Island and not wanting to get there too early and lack of making it easy for concertgoers annoyed me. Also the seats are garbage. They need to invest in better seat.


nicole jhan’rea

2 thoughts on “Concert Review: V103 Summer Block Party

  1. Great review blooming Nicole. I’m glad you mentioned the rearranging of her music. Lauryn Hill did that at her Ravinia concert (yes, she was late), and me being a writer, had all kinds of theories. I semi-settled with the maybe she doesn’t own the rights and had to mix it up. She did lots of covers. That’s a lie. She didn’t have time to do lots of anything, but you get my drift. I still love her. I was just crying watching Sister Act 2 for the millionth time last Tuesday. And yes, please get better seats Northerly Island!

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