Angelique Kidjo with J.D. Steele at the Dakota Tuesday night (apologies for the crappy cell-phone pic)
 
A half-block away, a small fleet of trucks and generators lined either side of 10th St. as a crew filmed scenes  for the Greg Kinnear-Alan Arkin movie "The Convincer." But the real star time Tuesday was happening inside the Dakota Jazz Club, where Beninese singer/ songwriter Angelique Kidjo held court in a packed house.
 
The Paris-based Afropop superstar, who normally plays theaters -- including L.A.'s Disney Hall Sunday night -- clearly reveled in the small-club vibe.
 
"I get spoiled by big stages, I like to be close to people," she said halfway through the nearly two-hour show.
 
She proved it during her anthem "Afrika," making a full circuit of the room with her wireless mike, threading her way through the main floor, then heading upstairs to the balcony while the crowd danced, sang and grinned.
 
The concert -- about two-thirds performance and one-third party -- focused mainly on material from her new album "Oyo," out now in Europe and being released in the States April 6. Due in part to the recent death of her father, there's a strong whiff of nostalgia to much of the material (in a good way) -- songs from African inspirations such as Miriam Makeba and American heroes including James Brown ("Cold Sweat"), Santana ("Samba Pa Ti"), Aretha Franklin ("Baby I Love You") and Curtis Mayfield ("Move on Up," her upcoming single, for which she enlisted Bono and John Legend).
 
There's even a Bollywood-inspired track, which elicited a funny/ tender reminiscence about her father. Kidjo said she dragged him to see one Indian movie musical 10 times until he finally told her: "I'll give you all the money you want, but I won't go to that again."
 
Late in the show Kidjo cajoled a dozen-plus fans to join her and her four-piece band onstage for an extended dance-off, including Twin Cities singer J.D. Steele -- who came back a bit later to duet on "Baby I Love You."
 
None of them could match Kidjo for energy, though. Looking almost like an Afro-punk pixie with her close-cropped hair, she showed rock-star moves that belied her age (she'll turn 50 in July).
 
"Everybody jump!" she commanded while pogoing one last time, looking for all the world like the little girl who used to sneak into dance parties back in Benin, wanting to be just like James Brown.