Los Angeles Greek Theatre

Sometimes it's best to do your dirty work in a more private setting...

By all rights, the practice of Voodoo should be done intimately. Tonight though, soulful crooner [a]D’Angelo[/a] takes his version of the Haitian art, rhyming chants in foul tongues and swiping the spirits of R’n’B’s royalty for song, and introduces it to five tiers of stoned patrons, shrouded by the stars, among the shrubbery of one of Los Angeles‘ most trendy hilltops. No surprise then it doesn’t work. On the Voodoo II tour, the second run in support of [a]D’Angelo[/a]’s sophomore effort, bigger sets and even longer extended ram-a-jams (three songs, sometimes four, without a break), all add up to one big bore, unless of course you’re in the pit. There, the taut, tanned, bare chested 26-year-old is doing his part to help soil knickers, make the ladies swoon, and get down on ‘Chicken Grease’ and ‘Devil’s Pie’.

Elsewhere though, with a choir of tribal clothed back-up singers, the six-piece Soultronics, and [a]D’Angelo[/a] himself, making lurvve to the floor, it’s just dull. He may be the streetwise Marvin Gaye in training, hitting every sultry note with his devilishly smooth voice on cue, but it looks like he missed his lessons on crowd control. His best attempt to communicate beyond the first few rows is merely a rapid run around the first section during the middle of song, and even then only a few bother to stand up and take notice of the commotion.

It’s not until the mandated recorded announcement that mid-song, comes on to end the show before the band have finished yet another extended jam, that anyone seems moved enough to care. The first version of Voodoo certainly shined, but tonight, even though it’s summer, it’s a reminder that sometimes, it’s best to do your dirty work in a more private setting, indoors.