By all accounts, D’Angelo has his shit together again. The band is tight, his attitude is right, and his stage presence is as powerful as ever. There’s not much official information about his forthcoming followup album to 2000’s Voodoo (it might be called James River, it might not), but even if it lags until 2013, the R&B world—which has a shortage of true musical studs these days—is better when D’Angelo’s a factor. The Richmond native’s co-headlining tour with Mary J. Blige makes perfect sense: Except for a dip here and there, she was cranking out hits over the last decade while he was dodging the law or cleaning himself up. Their broader fan bases don’t sync up completely (Voodoo attracts rock snobs in a way Mary J.’s records never will), but her devotees undoubtedly remember his naked video for “Untitled.” Their screams are the most reliable fuel for his comeback, which hasn’t quite reached “conquering hero” phase yet, but certainly seems ready to turn that corner.
Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, and Melanie Fiona perform at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. $39.75–$150.75 plus fees. verizoncenter.com. (800) 745-3000.