Oh, daddy!

Sonia Dada Big Room, Tues., Nov. 30

I couldn’t have told you until about 10 months ago whether Sonia Dada was a woman or a band. I’d seen the name, but it wasn’t until Sierra Nevada Big Room sound engineer Sloan Tash told me they were his favorite band that I had some idea of who they were.

Sloan definitely knows his music.

Unless something really monumental happens musically around this town between now and December 31, Sonia Dada at SNB is going to go down as my favorite show of 2004. Easily.

The nine-piece Chicago soul-rock-gospel-etc. powerhouse is an incredibly versatile, creative six-piece band of instrumentalists fronted by three harmonizing, mesmerizing, soulful (to put it mildly) singers—Paris Delane (his fantastic voice goes from a sexy Barry White baritone up to unexpected high notes), Michael Scott and Shawn Christopher. They opened with an acoustic set that was so much fun that the dance floor was jumping early on. Set two, the electric one, was—excuse me—electrifying. So much so that I hardly took any notes. I was on the dance floor.

Sonia Dada combines the healing power of gospel/soul/R&B singing with the sexiness of funk and audience empowerment of rock/heavy metal. By the time the band got to Pink Floyd’s "Wish You Were Here," late in the show, I’d already been sent to the top of my joy scale numerous times, but once more was fine with me.