Raphael Saadiq

ACL Live Shots

ACL Live Shots
Photo by Gary Miller

Raphael Saadiq

Oct. 2, Zilker Park

Retro's one thing, embodiment quite another. Raphael Saadiq's third solo album, 2008's triple Grammy-nominated Sony disc The Way I See It, cooked up 1960s Motown, 1970s "T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)," and 1980s and 1990s Tony Toni Toné. As lead singer of R&B's tony boy toys (!), Oakland's former Charles Wiggins reworked the Motor City etiquette manual on the Sound of Young America. Friday, the moment he tossed away his Buddy Holly glasses and took off his tie and the jacket of his black suit – the same stage attire worn by the other seven male members of his band – might as well have been the moment Marvin Gaye stopped trying to be Sam Cooke. Delivering "Keep Marching" and "Love That Girl," Saadiq sang like the former while inhabiting the sheer physicality of the latter. On Silk's "Wanna Get Freaky With You," his Luther Vandross rubbed up against the En Vogue of his sole female frontline harmonizer, flanking Saadiq on the other side of a doppelgänger of sole Temptations survivor Otis Williams. The musicians, meanwhile, doubled as the Funk Brothers – James Jamerson, Earl Van Dyke, et al. That explains the Stooges' cover "Search & Destroy" evoking another version of Detroit. "Sure Hope You Mean It," missing perhaps only Tammi Terrell, went over better, as did "Staying in Love." Then Saadiq strapped on a guitar and took his astonished audience to the "Big Easy" with the help of his two-man horn section, Stax strut meeting New Orleans undulation meeting an Ernie Isley guitar solo from one of the Funk Brothers. Voice, songs, stallion charisma; lose the glasses.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Raphael Saadiq
Phases and Stages
Raphael Saadiq
Stone Rollin' (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, June 24, 2011

ACL Music Fest Friday Interviews
Raphael Saadiq
The cosmic soulman revives the Motown sound

Chase Hoffberger, Oct. 2, 2009

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bill Callahan
Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, June 14, 2019

Texas Platters
Jackie Venson
Joy (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, June 14, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Stream the Synth-Pocalypse on Pinkish Black’s <i>Concept Unification</i>
Stream the Synth-Pocalypse on Pinkish Black’s Concept Unification
Texan twosome shares new LP and email Q&A

June 20, 2019

Church of Misery's Doom-Boogie Bounces Back From a Mutiny
Church of Misery's Doom-Boogie Bounces Back From a Mutiny
The serial killer-obsessed fourpiece comes to Austin Terror Fest

June 7, 2019


Raphael Saadiq

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle