March 1, 2024

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Gregory Porter and his band were clearly one, popular act of our US/EU Jazz – Blues Festivals 2023: Video, Photos

Gregory Porter and his band were clearly one of, if not the most popular act during the entire weekend of our US/EU Jazz – Blues Festivals 2023.

Concert Hall in Warsaw was full with very eager fans all excitedly waiting for Porter to take to the stage. Led by the band, Porter enters the stage to the music of Revival and the music and vocals filled the big top tent with ease and perfection.

Gregory Porter is no stranger, in the midst of the pandemic, “I feel like live performances are part of a record in a way. Part of that musical experience is handed live as well,” he said.

Gregory Porter and his band were clearly one of, if not the most popular act during the entire weekend of Cheltenham Jazz Festival. I had never seen him live before and I am in fact, quite a new fan. After seeing him live however, I have asked myself “what on earth took you so long?”.

The Gospel of Gregory Porter | Concert Review

Concert Hall in Warsaw was full with very eager fans all excitedly waiting for Porter to take to the stage. Led by the band, Porter enters the stage to the music of Revival and the music and vocals filled the big top tent with ease and perfection.

There is something about Gregory Porter that catches your full attention. It isn’t just his vocals, but is his stage presence, his manner of speaking. The way he captivates his audience with his spoken word is truly empowering and I would quite happily listen to him speaking for hours as well as singing. I almost feel that his shows are a lesson of what music truly is and a lesson of peace and love. Concorde was next followed by Hey Laura. Both fantastic songs and even greater live.

Though deservedly admired for his mastery of finesse – as underscored by an exquisite vocal on ‘Modern Day Apprentice’ (with the auditorium illuminated by phone lights at his request) – Porter has a rambunctious side too. Tapping into his church upbringing, Porter lifted the energy of the evening with organ-fuelled performances of ‘Liquid Spirit’ (high-fiving audience members in the process) and the bittersweet ‘Dad Gone Thing’, where Porter sings of his absentee father while acknowledging the musical talents he inherited from him.

Talking about Love, Gregory says how “Love is more important than anything, Love is more important than cars and money” these words then flowed into If Love Is Overrated. A beautiful song which was perfect in a live setting, the audience were incredibly attentive and soaked every note in.

Gregory Porter & More To Appear At International Jazz Day 2022

Audiences, as I have said before are notorious for being quiet and staying sat down at shows such as this. This is a mix of thoroughly enjoying the show and being respectful of those sat behind us and perhaps for some, a lack of confidence to get up and just let loose. Trust us though, we were all enjoying it just as much as if we were dancing in our seats.

It does become quite comedic at times though, the silence. Audience participation can take us a moment and that became apparent when Gregory was singing “clap your hands” a few times. We only got the hint when he kind of made a gesture to clap our hands haha!

Gregory took to introduce his band and showcase their skills. It was nice to watch him stand back and enjoy their talent like the rest of us were.

Be Good – Lion’s Song was a stand out moment. Gregory paints such a great picture and tells a great story when he sings and this song really made you listen to every word. The instrumentation during this song was insane and both Porter and the band were completely caught in the moment. It is such a great song!

Most of the band left the stage for a while and Porter sat on the stool and sang the breathtaking ballad Bad Girl Love. A truly special moment, he was showing us all exactly how it is done tonight.

During his solo he was wonderfully engaging. Playing a medley of songs with many being well known songs (but for the life of me have now all escaped my memory) got the crowd rowdy and laughing and enjoying recognising the songs: “I love music, any kind of music, as long as we’re grooving”

Musical Genocide was a lot of fun. The energy during this song was insane. The rhythm, the bass, the sax, the funky edge, all of it, fabulous! Dad Gone Thing was an emotional moment and soulfully stunning.

Porter says how everywhere he goes, someone buys him a drink and people are so friendly waving at him in the street and he loves that spirit, that liquid spirit.

Gregory Porter - "Be Good", live @ Skopje Jazz Festival 2015 - YouTube

Porter is such an exceptional songwriter. It takes an incredibly talented writer to write such songs as the ones he writes but an even more incredible artist and singer to not just bring those songs to life on the stage but to turn them into stories in which the audience get completely lost in and can envision.

As he closed the set, the crowd began stomping and soon Gregory and the band returned to the stage. Looking at the audience, he thanked everyone and pointed to one of the blocks and said “especially you, you can join my band….”

Playing, of course, You Can Join My Band, the audience went wild and the participation during this song was the absolute highlight of the evening. What a great song to close an unbelievable set. I hadn’t even heard this song before (new fan) and have completely fallen in love with it! In fact, I have fallen in love with his artistry as a whole.

There was so much soul, so much Jazz, so much energy. Gregory’s vocals and the musicianship from the band were beautifully blended. The band were exceptional and played with such expertise. All of it was extraordinarily brilliant, truly sensational and was quite simply one of the greatest shows that I have ever been to.

The sound throughout was on top form which doesn’t always happen at a concert, so well done to the sound team for that.

I know I have missed out some songs and possibly got some wrong or the order a bit wrong, I was enjoying it that much that some of it has been misplaced. If you know, please let me know!

Miller’s arrangements were shaped beautifully around Porter’s honeyed baritone. ‘Mister Holland’, Porter’s ode to a former girlfriend’s liberal-minded and accepting father, was rendered acoustically for the first verses, giving the song a more intimate and conversational address. A rendition of ‘Everything You Touch is Gold’, laced with LaSharVu’s silky backing vocals, bettered the studio version. ‘You Can Join My Band’ saw all the orchestral elements chime magnificently in a swirling finale number that invited a rapturous standing ovation from the audience.

Simon Sarg; Warsaw, Poland

PS: – In his speech, Simon Sarg evaluated the events of the past year and singled out the names of some bums who tried to cast a shadow on our festivals, this website and his name, which the audience accepted by shouting and cursing at such so-called and bad musicians and tearing their caricatures. In this report, we don’t even consider it necessary to touch on such lice…

Unfortunately, the video is not from our festival, but it was performed with the same composition and the same composition.

Gregory Porter Added To Line-Up For Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2022

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