What would I do if we were perfect, where would I go for disappointment?
Fifteen years ago Van Hunt asked that question in the poignant and powerful ballad, “Down Here (In Hell With You)” and thankfully, the question has remained unanswered. For fans of the neosoul/alternative soul artist, the question will again be raised this coming Wednesday (July 17) at the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. What fans may not expect is the manner in which the question will be posed this time around.
“This will be a third layer of reimagining,” said Hunt, referring to the recent release of “Trim (The Reimagined Van Hunt)” reimagined songs from Van Hunt’s self-titled debut album. “So with ‘Trim’ that was a reimagining, but what comes out on stage will be different from that.”
Hunt said while his show has a predetermined set list, that’s about as far as it goes in terms of following a structured format. He wants his shows to be an organic experience for both him and the audience.
“I took three years off from the road and I said if I come back, I’m going to make the audience partly responsible for everything,” said Hunt. “It needs to be more of a shared experience.”
The gifted artist said he plans to take multiple trips into the crowd and wants to get up-close and personal with his fans.
“I’ve always felt uncomfortable being on stage with everyone focused just on me,” said Hunt. “I want to shift the focus and make it about we. So, get ready for some interactive, imaginative fun.”
Hunt gained an almost immediate and loyal fanbase with the release of 2004’s “Van Hunt,” which included songs such as “Down Here,” “Seconds of Pleasure,” “What Can I Say (For Millicent)” and the Grammy-nominated “Dust.” His pull was strengthened by his writing a producing credits, including writing and co-producing the Dionne Farris hit, “Hopeless,” as well as writing for another neosoul favorite, Rahsaan Patterson. In 2006 Hunt, along with John Legend and Joss Stone took home a Grammy for their remake of the Sly and the Family Stone classic, “Family Affair.”
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of “Van Hunt,” the artist who plays multiple instruments and who has been compared to the likes of Prince and others will be joined onstage with rising R&B vocalist Andy Allo, who is fresh off her performance in New Orleans at the Essence Festival.
Wednesday’s performance at the Dakota begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $20 and on sale at the Dakota Box Office, (612) 332-5299 or online at www.dakotacooks.com/events/van-hunt.