“They look so good together!” That was just one of the many enthusiastic fan pronouncements overheard during the Los Angeles stop for one of the year’s most anticipated reunion tours: Raphael Saadiq Revisits Tony! Toni! Toné!: Just Me and You Tour 2023.
The Oakland, California-bred R&B trio — brothers Raphael Saadiq and D’Wayne Wiggins, plus cousin Timothy Christian Riley — also sounded just as damn good as they did in their ‘90s heyday. From the time the group jumpstarted Saturday night’s (Nov. 11) proceedings with “House Party (I Don’t Know What You Come to Do)” from 1991’s House Party 2 soundtrack until exiting arm-in-arm after rocking Inglewood (L.A.), California’s YouTube Theater with the fitting finale “Feels Good,” Tony! Toni! Toné! kept the audience on its feet for nearly two hours. Also getting their groove on during the sold-out, no-phones show: actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, Common and Jennifer Hudson, producer No I.D., NBA legend John Salley and actor Anthony Anderson.
“Where are my Day Ones at … Are you all ready to go on this journey?” queried Saadiq during the first half of the show, which included such hits as “If I Had No Loot,” “Let’s Get Down” and “Whatever You Want,” plus fan faves like “Til Last Summer.” Throughout the evening, the individual talents of each of the titular TTT members was spotlighted.
Wiggins was vocal lead on “Whatever You Want” and “Til Last Summer,” which were sing-along crowd-pleasers, as was his dexterous guitar playing. Riley’s commanding presence on keyboards also drew raves — at one point while playing, he went down on his knees, which prompted Saadiq to note, “That’s new!” Bassist Saadiq’s own tenor-to-falsetto vocals rounded out the trio’s still sublime harmonies as on the classic “(Lay Your Head on My) Pillow.” Also getting their chance to shine were members of TTT’s skilled band and estimable background singers.
From there, after a 10-minute intermission, the Tonys pulled out all the stops. Among the highlights: Saadiq revisiting his work as a solo artist (“Be Here”), as a member of Lucy Pearl (“Dance Tonight”) and as a songwriter/producer behind hits for other artists. That oh-wow trip down memory lane included D’Angelo’s “Lady” and “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” Erykah Badu/Common’s “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)” and Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky.” After that, a massive singalong ensued as the group shifted into fourth gear with “It Never Rains (In Southern California),” “Anniversary” and the aforementioned “Feels Good.”
Declared Wiggins of the evening, “It’s been 25 years since we’ve been onstage together. We are family forever!”
Kicking off Sept. 21 in Birmingham, the 25-date Raphael Saadiq Revisits Tony! Toni! Toné!: Just Me and You Tour 2023 itinerary included stops in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Las Vegas. The trek will wrap later this week when the group returns to its Bay Area stomping grounds: Oakland (Nov. 14-15) and San Francisco (Nov. 17).