Reclusive Soul man D’Angelo made his return to the U.S stage about a month earlier than expected with a surprise appearance during Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson‘s “Superjam” set at this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
“I’ve been waiting 12 years to say this — ladies and gentlemen, D’Angelo!” Questo announced to a shocked crowd.
Reportedly looking healthier than he has in years, D’Angelo took the stage for a full 90-minute set, showing not a bit of rust despite it being his first time in front of a US audience in over a decade. In what surely was a bit of a disappointment to fans in attendance, though, the singer failed to perform any songs from his heralded catalog or any new music, opting instead to excitedly run through a series of covers including Led Zepplin‘s “What Is and What Should Never Be,” The Beatles‘ “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” and Funkadelic‘s “Hit It & Quit It.”
“This is what we used to do at the studio. We’d just go through the catalog of all my favorite songs. What you’re literally seeing is the process, us jamming here tonight,” Questo explained, according to Rolling Stone. After the set ended and the crowd clamored for an encore, Questo revealed that the entire set was the product of a marathon rehearsal session on Saturday and they simply had nothing else to play. “We don’t know any more songs. We were literally cramming all these songs in six hours.”
All in all, despite the lack of new material or any of his classics, fans were satisfied simply with seeing D’Angelo in vintage form.
As we reported last month, the singer is also slated to share the bill with the likes of Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole, The Pointer Sisters and Marsha Ambrosious for the 2012 Essence Music Festival‘s opening night July 5th in New Orleans. Tickets for Essence Fest are available here.