Jill Scott Takes Her Fans Down Memory Lane

Jill Scott performed in front of a sold-out crowd at the Revention Center.
Jill Scott performed in front of a sold-out crowd at the Revention Center. Photo By David "Odiwams" Wright

“You’ve got to listen real down deep,” whispered Jill Scott as she waved her hand and quieted the band behind her. The Philly songstress walked across the stage while addressing the sold out crowd at the Revention Music Center Sunday night. The walls of the performance hall vibrated as the bass player hit a note on the lower register. Scott chuckled to herself as she adjusted the band tying back her afro and pulled tight the kimono with her face embroidered across the back.

“Ladies, you’ve got to open up listen. Listen…with your coochie!”

Her loud whisper echoed through the building as the bass player turned up the volume and played a note which vibrated through the seats in the building. The crowd laughed as the note lingered in the air.

The “Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol 1” is a celebration of Jill’s debut album from 20 years ago. The critically acclaimed, multi-platinum album birthed Scott’s career. Hers is a career that has been built on giving audiences countless hits of self-empowerment, sex, love, heart break, happiness, and more. Scott’s concert highlights the album which started it all while also touching on the music that followed. The set was designed to look like a living room and Jill spent the evening welcoming people into her makeshift home while showing appreciation to the crowd for welcoming her into their homes over the last two decades.

click to enlarge The Philadelphia singer celebrated the release of her debut album. - PHOTO BY DAVID "ODIWAMS" WRIGHT
The Philadelphia singer celebrated the release of her debut album.
Photo By David "Odiwams" Wright
“I’ve been bringing you music for twenty years,” she exclaimed as the band played “The Way” in the background. “I want to thank you for inviting me into your homes…into your kitchens…into your bedrooms…into your backyards…into your birthing rooms…into your lives.”

A large screen behind the band and roughly the length of the entire stage played old and new videos as Jill performed. At one point the screen would show video of Jill moving through the early stages of a relationship as she belted out the chorus of "Love Rain." Images of dripping honey slowly projected across the screen as she sang “Honey Molassess."  During a few songs, images of prominent black men displayed as she sang an ode praising their endeavors. The audience spent the night singing, cheering, and chanting with Jill as she led the through her discography.

“I want you to repeat after me. I’m gonna love myself…just a little bit more…than the day before. That’s the trick that I figured out.”

The chants from the crowd filled the room as Jill continued to sing about the past, present, and future.
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Houston Press contributor DeVaughn Douglas is a freelance writer, blogger, and podcaster. He is 1/2 of the In My Humble Opinion Podcast and 1/1 of the Sleep and Procrastination Society. (That last one isn't a podcast; he just procrastinates and sleeps a lot.)