It's really unfortunate that Americans have rubbish camera phones and this is the only footage I can find of the show online. He extended every song to about 15 minutes and the band didn't really know what was going on - but quite frankly who's going to notice when Robert Glasper is your keyboard player?! Needless to say it was amazing. One of my favourite moments was Glasper playing a beautiful solo intro - and just at the point of silence and tension where the singing would normally begin - the audience started cheering and Bilal pissed himself laughing. Three times. The thing I enjoyed most was actually the audience. I've never heard it sound rich and beautiful before when the performer holds the mic out and asks you to shout 'yeah!', I'd never heard a soul clap so rhythmic and erm, in time, and I've never heard the voices around me rise to sing along (to songs like Call Me, Make Me Over, Soul Sista and Sometimes) and felt like I was part of a gospel choir. Suffice it to say I'm a huge Bilal fan now (but a bigger fan of DC). Here's Pete Kuzma & Bilal's stunning version of High and Dry from Exit Music, (click the link to listen to & buy the whole album) the Radiohead tribute compliation from 2006 ft Sa-Ra, Osunlade & Erro, Cinematic Orchestra, Matthew Herbert etc etc in case you don't have it - click here to download the song.
I was also lucky enough to meet some other wonderful artists that night - Grammy nominee Ledisi who came and shut the show down with a voice like fire, DC soul queen Wayna, and did I mention Robert Glasper and Bilals' band?!!! Big thanks go to Hez for hooking it up - and if you haven't checked it here is Looking Up, his duet with Bilal. If you look closely he told me that Bilal is actually holding his 8 year old sons hand in the video, the lady in green is Hez's mum, and one of the blokes walking along is Robert Glasper.
I apologise - you will not be able to stop singing this all day.