Monday, June 30, 2008

Recap: Raheem DeVaughn, Chrisette Michelle and Dwele at Merriweather

Last Sunday, despite the rain scare and the daunting humidity, music lovers from all around the DMV gathered at Merriweather Post Pavilion, in my backyard. A perfect R&B concert; the much underappreciated opening act, Dwele warmed up the crowd.

I'll admit, I'm not a Dwele fan...but I do love his classic hit, "Find a Way", which he thankfully performed. I think everyone else was getting food during his set but his loyal fans sung his songs with him and bopped in their seats.

Guess who I spotted looking for his seat this his wife that he always talks about? I don't know...but it is DMV native, David Vanterpool. That man is hard to miss. :) No disrespect to the misses.

(Photo: ? but looks like a basketball player and David Vanterpool looking for their seats inside the pavilion)

Finally, after a short intermission one of my favorites came on. I think I put half of y'all on to her...yes the lovely Chrisette Michelle. Much like her set when she performed at the 9:30 Club not too long ago, Chrisette opened with "Let's Rock" and pretty much performed her entire album. She talked about her upcoming album...we can't wait!!

She rocked a fabulous fitted, black, sparkly number, which looked more fitting for a jazz club that an outdoors pavilion, but she still looked good. I just know she was hot cuz I had on a see through tee and I just about died...

The one thing (among others) that I love about Chrisette is that she sounds even better live...her voice is such a nod to the classic voices that our momma's grew up with: Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughn and the like. It's so refreshing to hear good vocals nowadays...ever since T-Pain and the attack of the Steinberg voice machine; good, clean vocals are definitely lacking in music.

After a few choice songs, Chrisette said "I love you" to a special someone(s) in the audience. Perhaps it was her parents who came down from the NY to see their baby girl.

And then the main act! I haven't seen Raheem DeVaughn perform since he performed at the University of Maryland fashion show...yeaaaaars ago and boy has he gotten some stage presence since then. Undoubtedly a performer who puts his all into what he does, the best thing about Raheem is that he focuses on creating an atmosphere of love, soul and music.

With his staple, Demont Peekaso painting in the background, Raheem mesmerized the crowd (well mostly the ladies) into a 'funky good time'.

(Photo: The infamous glasses that set it all off...don't get too mad SC)

Now when I said this boy has stage presence...he's got it. He puts his ALL into performing. Not only was he running, jumping, skipping and swimming...I think he did a lap around the pavilion (I definitely got strong armed by the security who dashed to keep up with him), he swung from the speakers, freaked the floor and even had his background singer come and do a James Brown and put a purple velvet cape on his back, which I thought was a bit ridiculous but the ladies loved it.

Here are some pics of Raheem 'going in':

(Photo: Doing acrobatics...)

(Photo: His nod to James Brown)

(Photo: Going all the way in...)

Despite Raheem's extra-ness, he still got me when he shouted out DC and played a go-go set, complete with someone on the bongos but then finished it off with a soul clap and a tribute to Baltimore Club music. It was a perfect DMV night...Raheem definitely brought a party atmosphere to Merriweather.

Afterward, Raheem and crew celebrated their manager's birthday at The Park at 14th (920 14th Street NW) in DC.

Click here to see video clips of all the performances! :)