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D'Angelo appearing Sept. 13 at United Center

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July 30, 2012|By Matt Pais | RedEye Sound Board

It's been almost exactly 12 years since I saw D'Angelo perform at the Chicago Theatre, supporting his instant-classic sophomore full-length "Voodoo." It still ranks as the best performance I've ever seen.

Leading the Soultronics (including ?uestlove on drums), the artist whose personal struggles would largely keep him off the stage and out of the public eye for the last decade-plus, adapted the model of a Prince show and imbued it with added physicality and swagger, plus the agility of some dynamite horns and an untouchable rhythm section. Don't dismiss D'Angelo just because he made a video that caused many to see him only for his physique, a perception that reportedly played a significant role in the troubles that followed him not long after his career year in 2000. Anyone who knows and loves both "Brown Sugar" and "Voodoo," and has been lucky enough to see him live, knows that D'Angelo is not some ordinary love-sick crooner, or, sigh, a magazine cover boy. He's the real deal--the voice, the artist, the performer--and you'll know why when you see him on stage.

Lucky for all of us, now there's actually a chance to do that. With Mary J. Blige and Melanie Fiona, D appears Thursday, Sept. 13 at United Center. Tickets ($39.75-$125.75) go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday. Buy some. Really.

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