JARVIS CHURCH with Divine Earth Essence at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, November 21. Tickets: $20. Attendance: 900. Rating: NN
When soul chanteuse divine Earth Essence proclaimed, "I am the 70s," at the Phoenix Thursday night, she was right on, given the staleness of her set. Her brand of soul funk lacked inspiration, and when she wasn't ripping off classics like Supafly -- replacing Curtis Mayfield's words with her own -- she was introducing and reintroducing her band in a desperate attempt to get a reaction. She even introduced her bass guitar.Jarvis Church, aka Gerald Eaton, didn't need to resort to hysterical blabbering to move the crowd. His every move was greeted by screams from the estrogen-heavy audience.
While his band churned out over 60 minutes of technically competent meandering love songs, Church shimmied his way across the stage. Although most of the night's material came from his solo debut, Shake It Off, the biggest cheers came for Philosopher Kings material. Church got the message and brought up former bandmate Brian West to join him onstage.
For his final number, Church pulled three lucky ladies from the audience and serenaded them with pap like Lady In Red while they took turns grabbing his ass. You get the picture.