Monday, October 21, 2019

Raphael Saadiq @ Élysée-Montmartre, Paris - October 21st, 2019

Raphael Saadiq is back in Paris, touring behind his first record in almost a decade, the deeply personal Jimmy Lee, an album of dark, modern soul infused by tragedy. Thankfully the mood of the concert was a lot lighter, even when he evoked the memories of his dead brother who gave his name to the album.

In fact, in the tradition of great soul music, tragedies are uplifted and heavy subject matters are transcended by the music. Transcendence, trance and dance. The crowd in the sold out Elysée-Montmartre never stopped dancing while Saadiq channeled Sly, Jimi and Prince. Lead guitarist Rob Bacon recalls Eddie Hazel at his most psychedelic and propels every song into the stratosphere with his soulful, lysergic playing.

Raphael Saadiq and his band prove that you can be modern while still honouring tradition and that soul music is still as relevant, as vital and as necessary as ever. Not that there ever was a doubt.

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