Recap by Whitney Geathers
Twenty five years from the last time they’ve toured together, Tony! Toni! Toné!, who consists of Raphael Saadiq, D’wayne Wiggins, and Timothy Riley, is together again. They kicked off their “Just Me and You” tour in September and have a total of 27 stops across the U.S. YKIGS was in attendance for the Atlanta stop and the show was nothing short of incredible.
If there was one word to describe the energy in Fox Theatre this night, it would be NOSTALGIC in all the best ways. It’s difficult to remember the days when there were no cell phones/camera phones to record everything. While technology has given us access to so much more these days, it can also take away from living in the moment. TTT’s tour has a no phones policy and in that, whether intentional or not, created a safe space for concert goers to be released from the pressures of needing to record or post for social media. From the moment you walk into the venue, phones are tucked away into a pouch and locked (you still maintain possession of your phone and have the opportunity to unlock it as needed at designated phone use areas).
Without the pressures or obligations to snap and record everything, people are left with no choice but to be present. It felt like being back in the 90s and really made the event that much more enjoyable. Before the trio takes the stage, fans are graced with 70s/80s R&B tunes that had a few people already on their feet. After a few moments, and a tribute to their hometown of Oakland, CA, the lights dim and one by one TTT takes the stage. The uproar that commenced by everyone in attendance was proof that 35+ years later TTT’s music has made a lasting impression on listeners across multiple generations.
Throughout the show, each member had their own solo moments to shine. Timothy Riley on the keys was a harmonious tune that blesses the ears of those who hear it, and while he doesn’t say much, his gift with piano keys does the talking for him. The same goes for D’wayne Wiggins on the guitar, with his vocals to go with it. When he came on stage to sing “Whatever You Want”, that same uproar from the start of the show, turned into everyone singing the track at the top of their lungs. Everyone was having a good time without a care in the world. Then of course, there is lead singer, Raphael Saadiq with his charisma, style, and vocals. He so gracefully sang “Ask of You”, a track from his solo era and the love from the crowd was real.
Altogether they performed their popular hits including, “Let’s Get Down”, “Me and You”, “It Never Rains”, “Anniversary”, and my personal favorite, “Lay Your Head (on my pillow). With only a few stops left in the tour, there’s no doubt that Tony Toni Tone has made music that stands the test of time. Not only do they still sound amazing together, but they still look fantastic, each member having secretly found the fountain of youth at the ages of 57/57/62. Seeing TTT perform together again is not only a cultural win, but a win for music as a whole, and it truly “Feels Good”!
Photo Credit: David “Odiwams” Wright