When: Thu., Dec. 28, 8 & 10 p.m., Fri., Dec. 29, 8 & 10 p.m., Sat., Dec. 30, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 31, 8 & 11 p.m. 2017
Goapele is Oakland. At least she embodies the best traits of the city. Her parents were political activists that came to Oakland from South Africa (father) and New York (mother), and they instilled a sense of social justice in her, which she expresses in her music — a thoughtful blend of R&B and soul, that is at once carnal and cerebral. She’s been making brilliant alt-soul for a couple decades now, and although she’s not a household name, she’s big enough to pack clubs. And, of course, whenever she plays Oakland, it’s a special occasion. She says that her latest EP, Dreamcatcher, is a return to her roots. It’s a great collection of songs that stays in the mid-tempo and evokes an ethereal mood, at times borrowing from some African and tribal rhythms. The music is intimate and hits a certain dreamy vibe that will put you in the perfect New Year’s spirit. She’ll play an early and a late show. The late show costs more, because you get to ring in the New Year with Goapele.