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Anthony Hamilton 

When: Thu., Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. 2012
Price: $47-$77

There was a point when male R&B singers crooned almost exclusively about pathos -- the apotheosis, of course, was Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman," in which Sledge promised a whole litany of quasi-masochistic acts (trading the world, turning his back on his best friend, and the ultimate: sleeping out in the rain). These days, R&B seems to be mostly about male ego. Trey Songz describes himself as a panty wetter. R. Kelly demands that women write him back. Usher's forthcoming album bears the extremely solipsistic title Looking for Myself. But not Anthony Hamilton. Already one of the best gravelly male tenors in the industry, Hamilton is also capable of expressing utmost humility in his songs, and sounding like he really means it. In his wonderful 2003 album he begged a woman named Charlene for forgiveness, then followed with the self-flagellating ballad "I'm a Mess." In his most recent radio single, Hamilton begged audiences to "Pray for Me." He'll offer a full-on confession performing at the Paramount Theatre (2025 Broadway, Oakland) on Thursday, Sept. 20, with fellow singers Estelle and Antoine Dunn. 7:30 p.m., $47-$77.

— Rachel Swan


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