Joss Stone @ The Docks

Joss Stone
Docks, The
January 20, 2007
It was obvious as soon as Joss Stone stepped onto the stage at the Docks on Saturday night that she was happy to be back.

Stone was in Toronto rehearsing for her upcoming shows in New York and Los Angeles where she was supposed to have premiered her new material but a few lucky Torontonians were privy to the new material a few days early. Though the show was a surprise affair announced just the day before, a fact reflected by the sparse crowd, her performance showed no signs of being last minute. Backed by an eleven piece band including a couple of horn players that used to play for James Brown, three backups singer / dancers and her producer Raphael Saadiq on guitar, Stone was ready to put on a show.

Showing off her coif of dark hair with fuchsia streaks and decked out in a flowy, floral, sequined dress more appropriate for the springtime than the blustery January evening she sauntered onto the stage in her bare feet like she was coming home.

Diving straight into her new material it was easy to see that Stone was anxious to show off her new tunes to a live audience gushing "I love this song" several times throughout the night. Her gushing and giggling throughout the night was quickly forgiven by the fact that they were great songs. Sung with the ease and smooth tone of a veteran soul jazz singer she swung easily from funky upbeat tunes like her new single "Tell Me About It" sexy, soulful ballads like "Put Your Hands On Me".

The vast majority of the tunes that night were from her new record Introducing Joss Stone which she describes as a much more personal album than those past. The sentiment in the songs was obvious as she came upon songs like "What Were We Thinking", as Stone proclaimed that she wasn't sure if she wanted to sing it because it made her "a little bit emotional". Her song's emotions ran the gamut that evening from the sad ballad to the angry "I Wish I'd Never Met You".

The highlight of the evening was the song dedicated to her one true love, simply titled "Music" the tune is her love song to her craft. Stone said, "I've found unconditional love in music and in God and that's it," gushing that this was one of her favourites from the album because it featured a rap by hip hop singer songwriter Lauryn Hill. And by the end of the tune it quickly became a crowd favourite as well.

Stone capped the evening off with an old favourite "Right to Be Wrong" from her previous album Mind, Body and Soul. With a couple of years of practice singing the tune she slipped into the song like an old pair of shoes, and though a fit of giggles part way through the tune was telling of her young age, her voice echoed a soulful maturity beyond her 19 years.

Writer: Michelle Garcia

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