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Derrick Dunn

Dwele’s Triumphant Return to D.C.’S City Winery

Detroit soul singer Dwele returned to Washington D.C.’s City Winery for two sold-out back to back shows on February 15th, 2020. While Dwele, may be known as the hook singer for numerous Midwest hip- hop artists (he’s worked with Kanye West, Slum Village, and PRhyme), Dwele is a vastly talented musician with an impressive catalog.

Dwele opened the ninety-minute show with the jazzy hip hop flavor of “Workin’ On It” from his 2008 album, Sketches of a Man, before making a smooth transition to “Holla” from his 2005 release Some Kinda. At forty-two years of age, Dwele commands the stage like a seasoned professional, and it’s clear that he has a vast appreciation for the art of live performing. What I enjoy most about Dwele’s shows is that he caters to his base and not just the mainstream audience. Dwele’s setlist was a mixture of hit songs such as “Find A Way” and “I Think I Love You” as well as album tracks, including “A Few Reasons.”

One of the signature themes of the Dwele live concert is his ability to take a song and remix the into a different genre live on stage the song choice for this performance was Washington D.C. native 

William Devaughn’s 1974 classic “Be Thankful for What You Got.” Dwele remixed the song with aspects of hip hop, reggae, salsa, and of course, go-go.

Dwele also took the time out while on stage to showcase his own musicianship by playing the piano and trumpet. While I’ve been a fan of Dwele since 2004, I didn’t know he could also play instruments until seeing him live for the first time last year. I generally enjoy all of Dwele’s music; however, I’m more partial to his slower material. As it was Valentine’s Day, Dwele took the time to bring a couple on stage for a performance of his slow jam “Obey.”

With six albums throughout his twenty-year career, Dwele has no plans on slowing down. Dwele’s live show is a testament to my opinion that to truly experience a singer’s talent, you must see them live. When he returns to the City Winery this summer, I highly recommend you check him out if you’re in the D.C. area.


Final Grade A+


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