Ray Ray rocks the bay

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Raphael Saadiq, one of Oakland, CA’s gems graced his hometown Saturday, Jan. 28 at Sweets Ballroom in Oakland where he performed as well as recorded his live greatest hits album and behind-the-scenes/tour DVD project.

Saadiq took the stage sharp and classic like the yellow suit, skinny black tie, and thick Buddy Holly glasses he rocked. The audience knew it was going to be an instant vintage time warp-strictly for the grown and sexy.

The backup singers, dressed in 60s style baby doll dresses and bouffant hair do’s, definitely played up the funked out do-wop ambiance. The second singer to the left in the quartet entertained the crowd with sultry facial expressions and inciting moves; she was almost having her own solo show off to the side.

Teedra Moses, the opening act, initiated the ambient-sexy-funk that carried on throughout the evening, working the audience with all her assets. Think a refreshing taste of Mary J. Blige with some New Orleans spice. Moses, a true R&B jewel, will be shining all over the industry.

The night couldn’t have been more flavorful. With guitar strings so funky they could almost be smelled, percussions that made heads bob and vocals so sweet they generated swaying hips. Saadiq took the stage ripe and ready, like a deity of “gospeldelic-soul” blessing the audience with hits like “Dance Tonight,” “Just Me and You,” and “Rifle Love.”

Better known as the lead from Toni Tony Tone and founder of Lucy Pearl, Saadiq’s skills as a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and writer can be found throughout the music industry’s biggest names; ranging from Earth Wind and Fire to Mos Def. The show satisfied the biggest funk craving belly that only this Oakland native could have served.