Published Sep 13, 2015The world premiere of Barbara Koppel's documentary film Miss Sharon Jones! took place a little over an hour down the highway at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Sharon Jones herself admitted to the Supercrawl audience that it was "pretty cool" to see herself in a movie.
Watching the soul singer on the silver screen couldn't compare to witnessing the airtight Saturday evening performance from herself and the Dap Kings, one that truly captured the power of soul music. A quick showcase of the backing band's talents, led by guitarist Binky Griptite, gave way to Jones' commanding presence, moving about the stage with an unmatched vigour. Her powerful voice unwavering in working through the smooth slink of "When You Love Me" gave way to a revue of "good clean dancing from 1965" that included the Boogaloo, the Jerk, the Mashed Potato and more, all featuring quick and accurate footwork from Jones.
After treating the crowd to a decidedly funkier version of "Heard It Through the Grapevine" and Gladys Knight's "In Every Beat of My Heart," the show's pivotal moment came during a lengthy rendition of "Get Up and Get Out," in which Jones revealed she had begun chemotherapy to fight cancer a second time. "I may be in a bit of pain, but it's alright," she said in describing the pins-and-needles feeling in her extremities. "I still got my energy, and I'm going to keep dancing and shouting until this cancer gets out!"
The near stunned silence on James Street soon turned back to raucous applause as she and her band roared through the rest of set in inspired fashion, bidding the audience goodnight in telling them "you pray for me and I'll pray for you."