A few weeks ago I was invited by a reader to the Lenny Kravitz concert with Raphael Saddiq as special guest here in Dallas at the Verizon Theater. It’s taken me a while to write about this experience because I had completely lost my cool somewhere in the vicinity of the song he opened his show with. I feel myself losing it again, so let me first tell you about Raphael’s performance.
Raphael Saddiq, in my opinion, is a musical genius. His ability to present this vintage music with today’s flare is more than worth a listen. His look was a cross between geek and greaser and although he only had 1/4 of the stage to call his own, he commanded it.
Speaking of the stage, he brought that back in time as well. Pure simplicity like the footage we see from concerts of huge artists of the 50s&60s playing a big show at the local high school or town auditorium. He even had coil-curled cable running from his guitar to his amp. I particularly liked the organist’s costume (yes, the Hammond B3 was in the house!)…a choir robe, and he commenced to take us to the stratosphere with Pastor Ray-Ray leading the way.
His is a show that I’d like to see again! A friend of mine from Luxembourg saw the show when it hit there. She said the people went so crazy for Raphael that they immediately scheduled a headline show with him. That just happened- I should find out how the show went.
So let me back-pedal just a bit: my first post was about Lenny Kravtiz. In it I spoke about how I am a fan of his recording process. What may have gotten lost was the fact that I was not a fan of his music. This is an important point for this post…
I’ve only seen Lenny play live once. It was in the early 2000s at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. He was playing on another stage at the same time as Macy Gray. I was with Macy, so I couldn’t catch his show. But after she finished I went over and caught him performing “American Woman.” Can’t say I was impressed. Loved the song, but it was just a performance. I remember being more excited about seeing Cindy Blackmon on the Jumbotron.
Fast forward to February 22, 2012… I enjoyed in utter euphoria the entire show. I have to admit that as an artist I get lost in “seeing the stage” and noticing everything “behind the scenes.” One of two things was true, the Kravitz camp is one of THE BEST oiled machines in the business or his concert story is so well told, that you can’t pay attention to anything else. I believe it’s a combination of the two, with emphasis on the latter.
I’ve never experienced an artist who has the ability to connect with his ENTIRE audience. I’d like to say that after his show, I’m going back to the shed and work on my “stage presence,” but I’m afraid that level of connection may be God-given. Either way, I’d love to sit in a week-long master class if he ever offered one.
So exactly how much of my cool did I lose? Let’s just say, I didn’t realize my new iPhone was missing until I was almost home. It must have popped out of my pocket when I hopped over a couple seats to get a close up of…Mr. Kravitz as he passed by singing “Let Love Rule.”
ps On one of my flights from Bologna to Amsterdam, I met a trumpet player. He and I had a great conversation. He was mad cool, downplaying his artistry…the whole nine. I’ll be dog-on if that wasn’t him on stage. LOL I love crap like that!!!
If you’d like to see more of my photos from the show, check out my FaceBook page (www.facebook.com/knagui); and like it… if you like it.