Dwele @ Yoshi’s Oakland

I know what I like. It rarely takes me more than a few minutes to decide if a song, a pair of shoes or even people are going to be compatible with me and my ever changing moods. Two points if you caught that Style Council nod right there.

dwele at yoshis
Our Dwele Tickets & Soulflower Magnet courtesy of Deanna.

So it goes without saying, that if you offer me tickets to Yoshi’s to see Detroit’s own Grammy nominated Andwele “Dwele” Gardner, all I’m thinking about is when & which one, cuz truth is Yoshi’s Oakland will forever remain my favorite. I know you know what I’m talkin bout.

When Starr and I planned our first Dwele experience she was already living in San Diego so I had to make the journey south rather than north. We had cocktails & girl talk before the show, then strolled down the street to Anthology with some other hbg’s.

dwele at anthology
Dwele, Devoya & Delene on some serious swoon tip at Anthology Circa 2011.


The moment my man hit the stage we was rockin in our seats. By the time he decided to abandon said stage and get his serenade on we were way beyond doin good. I kept looking at all the flat screened monitors thinking…please girl, don’t look foolish, don’t look foolish! Once he was standing in front of me singing though, I clean forgot all the rules and just grooved and grinned from ear to ear. Shooot we all did. Just look at Delene’s big old pretty smile!





Last Friday night’s performance had me groovin and grinnin from ear to ear all over again. Even though I don’t care for Sushi (yes, I’ve tried it many times) I always make it a point to cop reservations for dinner so we can relax and get seating assignments in the process. The noise level while waiting for Dwele to hit the stage was somethin else y’all. I’m usually the loudest laugh in the room, but no way could that be distinguished on this particular night, what with all the laughter happening everywhere. Groups of beautiful brown folks as far as the eye could see, dressed to the nines (as the old folks say) were in abundance. I love atmosphere and people having a good time equal just that in my book. On the way to the ladies room I even caught a couple of glances from some brotha’s standing near the bar, which never happens around my way. So you know I musta been feelin good to illicit that. No pushing in line, no ridiculous attitudes or grandstanding, just beautiful people ready for a good night.

When the house lights went down Dwele came out suited and beautiful and instantly mesmerized the crowd with his elevated take on modern soul ( you know I ain’t lyin) charm, sophisticated wit and showmanship. He really is a Master of Ceremonies. Guiding the ladies to snap photos of him in his sexy suit while he got his male model on, asking the fella’s about the game or even just walkin the room, he and his band masterfully held us all in the palm of their hands. Did I tell y’all he did all that before he even reached for his horn and took the night to a whole new level?! I so wanted to be the girl sitting there making notes about set lists and crowd reactions. I really did. I wanted to review the show like they do on all those super fresh music blogs. But I can’t get down like that when I’m happy. I was too about the music to think about anything remotely close to details. By the looks of everyone else in the room I wasn’t the only one either.

At the end of the night he and the band started to cover the classic crowd f avorite“Joy and Pain” (shouts to Frankie Beverly and Maze). I had a moment where I wondered why he’s not a more recognizable entertainer. Why he’s painfully underrated as an artist and why folks generally ain’t up on his songwriting and production prowess. But watching him guide the band into various styles of music ( rock, reggae, gospel, new jack swing ) I’d guess he’s unfazed by any of it.


If I hadn’t been in the company of my girls Deanna & Delene I might not have believed it was as great as it was. I say that because I sometimes build things up in my head. But the D’s don’t lie and they co-signed all night so I know it wasn’t just me and everyone else in the room.

I didn’t get a repeat serenade this time around. But I definitely got a repeat memorable show. Sigh* I only wish I could do it all over again this weekend. ~Devoya



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