Brought together by the harmonious chord progressions of one of the dopest artist to ever do it, it was time to step into the authentic reality of musical genius. Retire the albums on replay for a moment and experience the real thing. The Raphael Saadiq “Jimmy Lee Tour” was now in the nation’s capital and it was on!
Standing all the way in the back of the crowd, I took in the full capacity of the Washington, DC Historic 9:30 club, as I looked into the faces of some real real music lovers. Yes, in my opinion there are levels to this. Some enjoy music, adore music, love music, and then there are some who can’t live without music as a pivotal soundtrack in their everyday lives. These fans were most definitely the “can’t live without music” level music lovers. They were music explorers.
As an explorer of music, you typically don’t follow what radio tells you is good. You instead, are enticed to listen to “Real Good Music” across the board without limitation to genre or the popularity of said artist. With good music as our guide, many of these music lovers journeyed to the Raphael Saadiq Concert on a Sunday night, despite having to get up early the next morning for work. You do not miss this kind of artist when they come to your town by any means! The venue was packed from the stage to the merch booth with a diverse crowd eager to get an intimate musical encounter with the musical genius we all have in many ways, based our understanding of what good music sounds like and feels like from. It’s not to often you get to share a room with a legend, so this experience was one to cherish.
To begin the night, the audience was introduced to a brilliant and very talented opening performance by the lovely Singer/Songwriter and Poet Jamila Woods. It quickly became apparent that half of the packed house was very familiar with her music as they jammed heavily to every original song she performed. Her band was so freaking incredible with a skillset beyond measure! Jamila and her band had everyone dazed in a trance wanting more and more of her beautiful tone and melodic choices mixed with the musicality of one of the most precise band I’ve experienced in a long while. They slayed their entire performance. Jamila Woods didn’t present as an opening act. She presented as a featured act. Because she and her band are so amazing, Raphael granted her a significantly long set. Every bit of her time was well deserved, and I am sure she made a ton of new fans that Sunday night. Round of Applause to this diva because she gave us her all and the audience loved every moment and lyric she blessed us with.
Next up was a DJ originally from the DMV by the name of DJ DUGGZ. There are not too many DJ’S who can break shyness, anxiety, or stiffness from every person in the audience who may be holding back or not want to express themselves movement wise in a large crowd. Well, let me tell you! This DJ has that very ability. He was able to get everyone moving and shaking as he musically visited every decade of popular R&B/Hip Hop/DC Go-go hits while speaking on and reminiscing about the good times. He tailored his set by having us envision being at a family cookout, which was the perfect thought process to put us in. DJ DUGGZ has the kind of energy that inspires any personality type to embrace the moment and enjoy themselves.
He is dope and everywhere he DJ’S it will be a dope experience.
By this point of the night, we were more than warmed up. We were charged up and ready to take in the sounds of the amazing and extremely multi-talented Raphael Saadiq. With such an intimate close up and personal experience, we were bound to receive the special unique eye contact, sharing of his industry stories in real time, and the countless physical expressions from his body movement to the emotion in his eyes. This experience was priceless. He performed his newest material off of his “Jimmy Lee” album, as well as some of his major classic hits! I loved how his band played and supported his musicianship so fluent and effortlessly. You could tell how much the love of music was deeply within them as they performed a blend of complicated yet smooth arrangements. The way that music moved through the soul was a testament to the incredible talent of the composer and writer, Raphael Saadiq of course.
I just loved his humility as he told us how different things came to be throughout his career and how certain songs were recorded in a garage that ended up being massive hits. He never tries to outdo himself, he just freely does him, with no resistance to creative growth and exploration. Raphael has and will see longevity in this industry because he has never lost his ever-growing passion and truly loves what he does. His performance included a wardrobe change, a guitar assistant for the times he went from playing the guitar to only singing. A special guest performance and just dope arrangements and many great songs. This tour is one to experience. Catch this tour in a city near you and support his album “Jimmy Lee”.