Sheila E. Interstellar Rodeo, Edmonton AB, July 27
Published Jul 28, 2019A foul northern storm throughout the day was not the only relentless force of nature to grace the Interstellar Rodeo stage. Legendary percussionist and singer Sheila E. brought a hurricane of raw talent that overcame the cold, rainy day to reward anyone who'd braved it with one of, if not the best, performances the festival has ever featured.
Within the first two minutes of her show, Sheila E. and her wildly talented backing band raised the outdoor venue's temperature by at least 53 degrees. By minute 15 of the set, the band had tightly blended Prince, Parliament and Funkadelic into a pure, unstoppable torrent of funk.
When Sheila E. carted a guitar and mic stand into the crowd to sing as part of the audience, she radiated her own personal warmth through the audience. As an interlude, she then delivered a short sermon on love, inviting the audience to hug the people nearest to them that felt sincere enough that she became visibly teary-eyed. The tears quickly dissolved into steam, though, as she regrouped to lead the band through her biggest hit, "The Glamorous Life," which included a patented spinning Sheila E. drum solo.
In the last minute of her show, she raised a cymbal and stand above her head, then dropped it behind her to put a percussive exclamation point on the finale. Sheila E. and her backing band's display was an indomitable performance of relentless virtuosity, positivity, joy and magic.