Thursday, March 29, 2018
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a crowd at SOhO so incredibly charmed by a band (and so full of fedoras) than the one on hand to witness Durand Jones & the Indications’ spectacular performance on Sunday night.
Our small beach city often attracts rock, pop, electronic, and surf sounds, but rarely are we treated to the kind of authentic neo-soul that Durand Jones & the Indications so effortlessly provide. The band, whose members met at Indiana University, played as one seamless body of Motown-infused sounds with the help of the rich saxophone, zippy trombone, grooving bass, raw guitar, and classic organ. Each bandmate demonstrated serious musical chops, especially drummer Aaron Frazer, whose angelic falsetto, reminiscent of a young Michael Jackson, occasionally took the vocal lead on songs such as Smokey Robinson’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy.”
Frontman and lead singer Durand Jones commanded the stage with a contagious joy and easy confidence. Jones got his start singing in a Louisiana church choir, and his powerful pipes oozed homegrown talent on every number, including the politically conscious highlight “Make a Change” and grooving new single “Smile.”
Their set ranged from old-school ballads, such as the lovely “True Love,” to James Brown–esque dance-floor igniters, such as “Groovy Babe.” Here’s hoping the enchanted crowd, which wildly demanded an encore, won’t have to wait too long for another serving of soul.