Vivian Green shines at Sundays in the Redwoods

Vivian Green
Vivian Green

While the rest of the country is gearing up for fall, here in the Bay Area, we are experiencing our summer.

This is how I view our weather – our spring is really still winter; summer is spring and fall is summer.

Got it?

On Sept. 24, I enjoyed a great early fall (summer) day at the Woodminister Amphitheater in Oakland. A hidden (at least from me) gem in the Oakland Hills, this Amphitheater is hosting a series of concerts for the next few Sundays.

Billed Sundays in the Redwoods, each series showcases nationally-known musicians, as well as local artists.

This particular Sunday, it was the sounds of Z’Amico, Dos Four, Vivian Green and Hiroshima gracing the stage.

I went mainly to see Vivian Green because I knew from my previous experiences that her show was well worth the money.

First, let me say this about the venue – it really is a gem. Ticket cost was only $14, and for that price, I was sure it was lawn seating. How wrong I was; there was a seat for everyone.

The acoustics were on the level of a bigger venue and all acts sounded clear and crisp.

As I previously stated, I went for Vivian because her vocals rival the likes of many contemporary artists. She should be performing in bigger venues, and her name should be on the lips of anyone who loves soulful R&B music.

That’s just my lovely opinion.

While her career began as backup singer for Jill Scott, Vivian has been a solo artist since 2002, releasing four albums – Love Story, Vivian, Beautiful and The Green Room.

Walking on the stage looking chic in an all-black dress, Vivian opened with Too Intense sounding every bit as fabulous since the last time I saw her with Eric Roberson at Yoshi’s Oakland in 2011.

With only a four-piece band and no backup singers, Vivian carried the vocal load like it was a piece of cake – especially when she started belting out Sade’s Is It a Crime (which happens to be my favorite Sade song!)

The last time I saw Vivian perform, she covered Whitney Houston’s Saving All My Love For You, and at that time, I said she is the one rare person I’ve heard do Whitney as well as Whitney did.

Well, she’s got Sade covered as well.

Sounding very appreciative and humble, Vivian expressed her thanks to everyone for still showing up to see her – especially after taking a three-year hiatus to care for her special-needs son.

Ending her show with the two songs she’s most known for – Emotional Rollercoaster and Gotta Go, Gotta Leave (Tired), Vivian was off to catch a plane that left two hours from the time she sang her last note.

Dos Four
Dos Four

Other acts: I had never heard of Dos Four before this concert, but I will say, it’s a name I won’t soon forget. Hailing from Cuba, but living in Oakland the last 12 years, Dos Four’s music is described on his Facebook page as “a distinct blend of hip hop, Reggaeton, salsa, and mambo as well as many other rhythms.”

The music and his energy were infectious as he tried (in vain) to get the audience to stand up and dance. (This crowd was something else). He will be at Yoshi’s Oakland on Nov. 5. Tickets are $17

Hiroshima has been making music for more than 30 years, and I’m ashamed of myself for two reasons – I don’t own a single song, and this was my first time seeing them.

Well, to make up for the disappointment, I took plenty of videos of their performance!

Hiroshima’s music would be great to throw on one day when you have to clean your entire house from top to bottom, or when you are sitting outside, drinking a glass of red wine (or chilled chardonnay if that’s what you prefer), watching the sun set.

Sundays in the Redwoods continues with Eric Benet on Oct. 6 and concludes with Lalah Hathaway and Kindred on Oct. 13. Both shows are sold out.

Vivian Green set list: Too Intense, Fanatic, Still Here, Sade’s Is It a Crime, Ain’t Nothing But Love, Beautiful, Emotional Rollercoaster, Gotta Go Gotta Leave (Tired)

Click here for Hiroshima videos.

Click here for Dos Four’s performance.

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3 thoughts on “Vivian Green shines at Sundays in the Redwoods

  1. Vivian has a wonderful voice. I’ve seen her at the Fillmore in San Francisco–she opened for Musiq Soulchild. Great show!

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