Last Night: Mary J. Blige & D'Angelo at Toyota Center
There's a wildly popular scene in comedian/actor Jamie Foxx's hit late 90s television show, The Jamie Foxx Show, in which he dresses up -- or undresses, actually -- as funk singer D'Angelo in penance for some slight done to his girlfriend. In the scene, Foxx delivers a hilariously inappropriate performance à la D'Angelo's provocative "(Untitled) How Does it Feel", video, in which the singer simulated male nudity. Not only is it one of the best scenes in The Jamie Foxx Show, it's one of music's most famous (infamous?) videos, and the singer's sex-symbol stamp.
Almost as if he had a sixth sense, D'Angelo held off on that song during his hour-long opening set at Toyota Center Sunday night, though it was the one the ladies in the audience wanted the very most. Instead, the funk singer, born Michael Eugene Archer, teased things out.
He started wild, fast and funky with hits "Left and Right," then getting slower ("Lady"), and slower ("Another Life," a song from his new album), and slower ("Brown Sugar"), until nothing was left on stage but D'Angelo, a piano and him banging out the first lusty chords -- to the panty-wetting delight of the women in attendance -- of the song that made his name synonymous with baby-making music.
However, the road to recovery may have muzzled the muscled reflexes of the crooner, who chose to stay covered up to the dismay of audience members.
"We didn't pay to see you with your clothes on!", yelled a woman behind us.
Too bad. On the mend from a hazy few years filled with arrests and plump mugshots, D'Angelo is back with a third studio album and a knife-sharp vocal preciscion -- and he is determined to start a better chapter, even if that means remaining clothed.