Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Tantalus Stage, Squamish BC, August 8
Published Aug 09, 2015Guitarist Binky Griptite gave a shout out to Drake in his introduction to the Dap-Kings before the band behind Amy Winehouse's biggest hits ("Rehab" and "You Know I'm No Good") started in on a compressed version of their soul revue extravaganza. They performed a slick instrumental before Sharon Jones hit the stage, dropping a ton of soul excitement on the modestly assembled crowd, early in the drizzly afternoon.
The rain wasn't their only hindrance. Their sound was super quiet, especially for a main stage set, and Jones' mic was so low that she actually changed a few of the lyrics for "Stranger to My Happiness" to talk about getting the sound right. That kind of misfortune might throw off a fragile ego, but it only seemed to stoke Jones up more, turning her dynamite presence into nitro-glycerine.
Their updated rendition of "Get Up and Get Out," from Give the People What They Want, imbued with deeper layers of meaning, her personal negative — being diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer, which she defeated before releasing the album — turned into a profound public positive, as Jones made a testimony of it, preaching Sunday morning revival style as she detailed her struggle and triumph mid-song.
One might assume a cancer scare would slow down anybody approaching the age of 60, but Jones still works harder onstage than almost everyone in show business. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that she's originally from Augusta, Georgia, the same hometown as the godfather of soul, funk legend James Brown; taking the crowd through a medley of classic dance moves from the mid '60s, from The Swim and Twist to Archie Bell's Tighten Up and Brown's Camel Walk, Jones didn't just bust a move, she broke it off.
And what pipes! Her held note during "If You Call" almost sent the Stawamus Chief Mountain crumbling down. Sadly, their set was cut short by a long and, apparently, inadequate sound check, but they definitely gave the people what they wanted.