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Show Review: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Tunde Olaniran, ROMT, April 19

Our homeboys made good, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., came to town last Saturday and played to a packed Royal Oak Music Theatre crowd of fervent fans. 89X made the affordable for everyone by making the ticket price $ .89, basically guaranteeing a sellout. However, judging from the enthusiasm of the fans I have a feeling this show would have sold out at regular prices.

Opening the show was local electro hip hop artist, Tunde Olaniran. A Tunde Olaniran performance is always a phenomenal  experience and tonight was certainly no exception. With his dancers beside him and a parade of local guests, Tunde pulled out all the stops to make the show a celebration. Passalacqua joined him onstage and traded raps with Tunde while James Linck strolled on for their anthem “The Internet.” After his set I overheard several people who were unfamiliar with Tunde exclaiming it was one the best opening acts they’ve ever seen.

Since the early days of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. I have told people it’s a group combined of the two best local songwriters I know and I consider Dan Zott and Josh Epstein the modern equivalent to Simon & Garfunkel.  Tonight’s show proved I’m not being flippant with my praise. DEJJ are the only band I know that can have 2 leads share the stage equally with each song being a perfect blend and tradeoff of  their unique vocals and talents. The night featured several songs from their latest album, “The Speed of Things” and also went into their early material with “Simple Girls.”  They wrapped up the set with their rousing version Gil Scott-Heron’s “We Almost Lost Detroit,”  then, came back for an encore which featured Tunde joining them for a song and their single “If You Didn’t See Me..” which had Dan jumping offstage and onto the arms of their supporting fans.

This post by Mikel OD of MPAD Media, see more photos here