KBLX Stone Soul II

Today we are at the KBLX (The Quiet Storm) Stone Soul II event at Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord. So far we saw the end of Lenny Williams’ set, a mostly guitar and bassless set by Tony! Toni! Tone! and a percussion-filled hour of the great Escovedo Family.

Sheila E and her brothers, father and little sister were great. We bought their CD and got to meet them and get it signed afterward. Family members have played with every other act playing today, so even though they don’t consider their music “soul” they definitely belonged on the bill.

Tony! Toni! Tone! have always been a band formed of family but now even their children are in the band. I was surprised at how many of their songs were familiar to me, and even with sound issues, they put on a great set.

Before T!x3 Rick and Russ “The World Famous” DJs fucked up the sound and ended their between acts set with their “all merchandise $10” feedback. That impacted about half of the instruments of the T!x3 set but was fixed for the set break before The E Family.

Lenny Williams is apparently legendary. We didn’t get here early enough for me to really judge his set.

I typed the preceding during the Con Funk Shun set. I can see how they fit the bill but wasn’t impressed.

Our “dinner” consisted of a soft pretzel for me and a hot dog for my wife. The food doesn’t look that appetizing and was overpriced.

The elderly dancing peanut/kettle corn vendor is awesome.

Up next, we have En Vogue and later, MC Hammer.

We had seen En Vogue a while back at the San Mateo County Fair and their set was pretty much anything identical. They flubbed up Lenny Williams’ name when they thanked the other artists and had to look at the giant banner adorning the stage to know which radio station to thank. En Vogue are basically just a Las Vegas style lounge act but on tour at a venue near you.

When I said “later” for MC Hammer, it was before I realized that En Vogue wouldn’t START their set until after Hammer was to go on stage.

Hammer’s set was marred by sound problems where we again heard feedback and treble where bass should have been. Strangely, the only song that didn’t have sound issues was the next generation of Hammer Time, 16 year old son of Hammer, Booby Hammer, and his song with the original title “Booby Hammer’s the Name!”

I liked Hammer’s set despite the problems and was excited to see “Pray” performed which we didn’t get when we saw Hammer last August at the Oakland Art and Soul Festival.

The majority of the crowd booed Hammer and walked out during his set and his encore of U Can’t Touch This had more of the crowd leave and very few join him on stage. Thankfully some people still get Hammer’s message and a woman and her two young daughters dancing on stage made the moment a great one for those of us in the crowd that were still having fun.

I don’t understand people’s expectations. Hammer isn’t 20 years old and can’t move as much as he used to. He can still dance and rap and put on a great show and I am very happy to have been there.

When we left the show I felt calm and relaxed and happy. That is a good feeling to have and I am happy to have filled my Saturday with the “soul” sounds of some of Northern California’s great musical talents.

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