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D'Angelo and the Vanguard 

When: Sun., June 7, 7:30 p.m. 2015
Price: Sold out
December is known in the music industry as the worst time to drop a new title. But that didn’t stop D’Angelo, outsized R&B auteur, from rush-releasing The Black Messiah late last year. Impressively, but perhaps not surprisingly, the whole critical ecosystem rearranged itself to accommodate what was instantly heralded as the best musical statement in recent memory. And it was a statement: The Black Messiah emerged in response to protests in Ferguson and the broader national racial dynamics they emblematized. In many commentators view, that put The Black Messiah in league with Sly Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On, another highly textured, doted-upon album that spoke to and reflected choppy times. We’d heard from D’Angelo since his previous full-length, 2000’s Voodoo, on guest spots and in concert, where he would often tease new material. But D’Angelo is a classicist, meaning that only an album felt like the proper vessel for his art — unless you’re partial to concerts, in which case prepare to hustle dearly for tickets to The Fox Theater (1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on Sunday.
— Sam Lefebvre

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