D'Angelo and Questlove Kick Off July 4th Philly Festival With Late-Night Jam

The intimate show preceded massive outdoor concert celebrating Independence Day.

Posted: 07/04/2013 12:57 PM EDT

It was a late night worth staying up for as D'Angelo and Questlove reunited to play an intimate but triumphant show in the wee hours of the morning at Philadelphia's Theater of the Living Arts. The sold-out show, billed as "Brothers in Arms," began shortly before 1 a.m., nearly two hours after doors opened, but the eager crowd didn't complain.

For 90-plus minutes, attendees were treated to vintage D'Angelo songs and a seamless medley of classics from soul legends including Prince, Bobby Womack and Sly & the Family Stone. "We want to pay respect to the greats," said Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, who called himself Philly's "first son." D'Angelo let his partner do almost all of the talking between songs, only addressing the crowd once, with a brief "How y'all doing?" But his music still spoke clear and loud: He sounded as limber and confident as ever, despite only recently ending his 10-year hiatus from the stage. The show concluded with a spirited encore set, with Quest's Roots bandmates joining the pair onstage for a powerful performance of D'Angelo's classic 1995 single "Lady."

The show kicked off the Philly 4th of July Jam, a two-day festival that culminates with a free, three-hour outdoor concert tonight on the city's Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Hailed as the "largest free concert in America," it features performances from The Roots, fellow hometown stars Jill Scott and comedian Kevin Hart (host), as well as J. Cole, Ne-Yo, John Mayer and others, and will also be broadcast live on VH1.

“Where else should you be on the Fourth of July other than Philly?” said Roots front man Black Thought in a press statement.

For more information and a live stream, head here.

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