Raphael Saadiq revisits Tony! Toni! Toné!

Birmingham, AL

Written by Marika N. Johnson (Musically Speaking)

Photography by David “Odiwams” Wright

There are few bands in the world of R&B music that can stand the test of time and still make your heart thump and get you out of your seats. Tony! Toni! Toné! is undoubtedly one of those remarkable acts, and their performance at the BJCC Concert Hall Sunday night is indicative of this statement. 

The audience is presented with a wonderfully designed, ode to a vintage jazz night vibe with elevated platforms on stage. This well designed set coupled with a well curated video as the backdrop gave the audience an intimate and somewhat nostalgic atmosphere. 

The curtains open and the crowd cheers for their favorite characters such as Tupac and Marshawn in the opening “Ode to Cali” video montage and then the three enter center stage. Raphael dressed in stripes, Dwayne in something shimmery and Timothy in signature rose colored shades and pageboy style hat. A first of many standing ovations occur and then they get to it. The first half includes songs such as “Little Walter” and “For the Love of You” and If I had No Loot”

The live instrumentation adds warmth and authenticity to the production, reminding us that real musicianship is timeless. From the rich basslines to the melodic brass, each element is thoughtfully arranged, creating a symphony of sound that envelops the listener.

Dwayne Wiggins steps forward and belts out tunes like, “Slow Wine” and also graces us with funky guitar solos. The epitome of cool as he has stashed in the neck of his bass a lit incense stick. Vibey aesthetics on 100.

Raphael returns to the lead and shares the history of their affinity of the blues and love of Al Green. Then, the crowd goes wild,

Lay your head on my pillow

And just relax, relax, relax

(’cause it was meant for you)…”  

Then, during the well earned brief intermission we are entertained by a short, visual montage of interviews where we get to know the background singers and musicians.

With a quick outfit change up, the trio returns to the stage. Raphael is donning a bucket hat and the crowd is energetic and responsive as they all belt out collectively…

“…Oh it may be cold on the east coast

But on the other side of town it never rains…


“I Want To Dance Tonight”,  “Anniversary” and the three end the night on a high note with “Feels Good”.  A track that remains an anthem of good times and carefree living. Its infectious bassline and upbeat tempo are enough to make even the most reserved person break into dance… and dance they did!

 When you listen to their songs, it’s like taking a trip down memory lane, a journey that feels both familiar and fresh at the same time.

In an era where trends in music come and go, Tony! Toni! Toné! remain a constant, a timeless groove that continues to inspire and evoke emotion. Their music is a testament to the enduring power of soul and R&B, and it serves as a reminder that some melodies never fade. Whether you’re in the mood for love ballads or funky dance tracks, Tony! Toni! Toné! delivers the goods with unwavering finesse. Their music is not just a collection of songs; The Raphael Saadiq Revisits Tony! Toni! Toné!  is an experience that transcends time!

4 Replies to “Raphael Saadiq revisits Tony! Toni! Toné!”

  1. Dope review and I co-sign every word, feeling and emotion!! It was even wonderful that no one had their phones out! Everyone was present for their presence and that was the true present…(wink wink).

  2. This is a great way to sum up the EXPERIENCE! One of the best shows ever! The arrangement of songs flowed PERFECT! Every aspect of the show was a VIBE!

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