Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Raphael Saadiq w/Janelle Monae August 17th … Los Angeles, California @ the Roxy

The crowd was definitely out tonight as the line was around the corner at 7:45 PM. Once inside it was standing room only and you had better find your place in the crowd real quick. The DJ was spinning some songs as the crown anticipated the first guest. Luckily for me I had heard of Janelle Monae due to some youtube clips posted on The Urban Blogger so I was intrigued to see if the hype was the real deal.

Janelle came out on the stage at 9:00 PM and immediately caught the entire venues attention as she opened with heavy, heavy energy and kept it up for the entire show. She sang three cuts from her library. I believe the three were 'The March of the Wolfmasters', 'Smile' and 'Sincerely, Jane'. My personal favorite was Smile as she sang this ballad in tune and effortlessly and had the crowd swaying and singing along. Janelle closed off the show with as much high energy as she began the show and the crowd was definitely buzzing. I now see what the hype is all about and at first blush it is definitely warranted. She danced and pranced around stage and worked the crowd without even trying to hard. She is definitely eccentric and unique as she displayed her full stage personality (mannerisms included) in approximately 25 minutes.

As the crowd waited for Raphael Saadiq to come on stage, the temperature began to rise (is there air conditioning at the Roxy?), and restlessness ensued. At approximately 10:50 PM, Raphael Saadiq came on stage and began his show. He worked through many of his older hits and mixed in several of his new songs from his new album. A few songs caught my attention. The first one that comes to mine is “Just Me and You” … Raphael actually lowered the volume of the band and had the crowd sing along with the chorus, “don’t worry about you … don’t worry about me … don’t worry about a damn thing baby …” and switched it up to how he used to sing it back in the day. At this time he had the crowd eating out of his hand.

Of course he dabbled with a few melodies from old Tony! Toni! Tone! hits such as ‘The Blues’, ‘Anniversary’ , ‘It Never Rains in Southern California’ and others. My only wish was that he would have sang the entire song because we were ready to sing along verse for verse (especially It never rains …) He left me wanting more. The second song he sang that personally moved me was “You Should be Here”. I could tell Raphael was feeling this song and the crowd was into to it as well. Good call on this one. After his curtain call , he ended the show with a few new songs from his new album which should be another quality Raphael Saadiq project. Overall, it was a very good show. It is good to see that people in LA still know about true R&B and come out to support the artists. Next time play me even more old Tony! Toni! Tone! And play “Tick Tock” for the crowd because they were screaming for it!


GirlATl said...

I'm obviously sleeping on Janelle Monae...I need to change that.

I'm glad Raphael Saadiq is working on some new material, I love Tony!Tone!Toni!

(BTW, added your link, too!)