Concert Review: Tweet and Jully Black

Jully Black & Tweet
Friday July 8th, 2011
Maison Mercer
Toronto, On

Jully Black & Tweet
Friday July 8th, 2011
Maison Mercer
Toronto, On

Maison Mercer is an expansive, colorful and stylish space located right smack in the middle of downtown Toronto. It was the backdrop for a night of sangin’ if you will, with two dynamic mega-voices on the bill. The promotional team of Tsyaphin Group delivered with Toronto’s own Jully Black and the southern songbird herself, Tweet. Fans have been eagerly awaiting Love Tweet. the southern hummingbird’s long overdue follow-up toher sophomore album release It’s Me Again. However, everyone is surely keeping tabs on the collaborations she has done in the meantime (The Dresden Soul Symphony and PJ Morton, anyone?). And for Jully Black, this was an invitation to showcase some new soon-to-be unveiled work from her upcoming September release (8)ight.  Pairing the two of them set up the audience for a night of first-rate harmonies, musical flashbacks and a taste of things to come.

Jully Black opened the evening strutting on stage, entrancing the undersized crowd with her statuesque pose and all black Catwoman outfit. Jumping right into a vibrant rendition of “Seven Day Fool,” Jully quickly demonstrated she was out to have a good time and take everyone on the ride with her.  In true rock-star fashion – head bobbing, hair flipping and catching the fever -- Jully shared new tracks with the attentive audience.  “Can’t Let You Go” is rock infused, with a touch of soul - simply hot and electrifying. As Jully grabbed the microphone stand and looked fixedly at the crowd with her animalistic gaze, audience members shouted, “Get it, Jully!”  She was giving just as much as she was getting, and it was obvious that she does nothing halfway. Jully sang with intensity and kept the pace going.  Her version of “Pushin” had everybody in a tizzy, with the reggae and house infusion, accompanied with a soul clap.  Inviting a few dancers/choreographers up on stage to show their mastery and skill during the song didn’t hurt either.  The most enthralling moment of Jully’s performance was the emotional “Glass Ceiling,” a song sung with gusto about determination and perseverance. Jully dropped down to her knees, emotionally thanking the audience for assisting her in breaking that ‘glass ceiling.’ During her set, she asked “Do you like live music or what?” After a performance like that, we would be a fool not to.

Tweet took to the stage very quietly, yet confidently. She visited Southern Hummingbird with a slow and sultry performance of “My Place.”  She was totally in line with her background singers and everyone was tight and in form,  never missing a beat. An audience favorite, “Smoking Cigarettes,” was given an intro by Tweet explaining, “This was a habit from heartbreak, that I don’t do anymore…” She sang every note ever so effortlessly and rightfully owned up to her nickname. A few slows brought down the momentum a bit from the upbeat tempo of the opening act, but everyone was ready to boogie as soon as “Boogie Tonight” started. Everyone was cutting it up as the show turned it up a notch. The dance was just getting started and Tweet had the crowd losing their mind once “Turn The Lights Off” begun. To add to the fanfare, she invited a few fans up on stage to dance and sing and as said in the song, “get to know each other better.”  And one nearly stole the show having Tweet jokingly exclaim to her, “Do you want to finish the show? Ok, y’all – goodnight!” Again, coming off the up-tempo high, Tweet went into a phenomenal version of “Always Will,” accompanied by her guitarist Jordon. She sounded absolutely divine while her background singers cooed, “Jordon, play for Tweet.” It was like an angel strumming a harp, melodious and soothing. Tweet ended the soiree with the sexy “Oops (Oh My)” and asked two dancers from the audience to support her. This gave everyone some great eye-candy and the chance to see Tweet’s playful side while dancing off what was remaining of the night. 

The show was exceptional, with both artists clearly having fun performing for their fans. Apart from excessive gum chewing during Tweet’s performance, everything was, well, perfect. The band, the background singers and everything in-between left nothing to ask for. Many missed out on a soiree that will most likely not see its way back to Toronto anytime soon. When these two powerhouses hit your town, you should surely mark your calendar not to miss. 

By Ann Marie Collymore       

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