Raphael Saadiq and his back-up singer
A blend of 1980s classic R&B, neo-soul new school and several odes to the style of Motown-era blues, Oakland, Calif.-born Raphael Saadiq brought his smooth rhythms to the 9:30 Club. Many may remember Saadiq as a key member of the new jack swing group Tony! Toni! Tone!, which had their best years in the late-1980s to mid-1990s. And many of the crowd at the 9:30 Club surely did remember those days as they chanted for Saadiq to sing the band’s seminal hit “Anniversary.” Saadiq teased the crowd by repeatedly asking if “ya’ll ready for Anniversary?” only to go into songs from his solo career. But that’s a good thing considering his soulful hits like "Ask of You" and "Me & You," all sung passionately on stage, Saadiq often clutching the microphone, eyes closed, letting the music take over his soul.
Opening for Saadiq was Canadian songstress Anjulie, who displayed impressive vocals that caught the attention of the early arrivals for the Saadiq show. Many who were at the bar area rushed to the front to catch a glimpse of this up-and-coming talent—especially when she picked up a bullhorn to shout (er, rather, project) one of her songs, as well as her more mellow, jazzy grooves like “Boom.”