On the 19th and 20th October, Fox FM brought RnB Live Fridays to Melbourne and in a word, it was GOOD. The lineup included some of the best in the business from the 90s and into the 2000s including Christina Milian, En Vogue, Craig David, Sean Paul and Kelis to name a few. To top it all off, Fatman Scoop MC’d the night and brought his signature hype man skills to the mix.
This wasn’t a gig for everyone, but it was definitely a night of songs people pretend to hate when they go out, but secretly love. You know the ones – your friends all roll their eyes when the beat drops, but goddman it, you can’t help but get down and dirty.
Aside from the fact that there was some clear racial stereotyping going on at Hicense Arena with a dedicated braiding station and a basketball slam dunk game, the venue was actually pretty perfect for the show. The standing section was one big dance party and made it feel more like you were in da club than in a concert arena. The crowd was a complete mixed bag – rnb fans generally are, but it was great to see everyone brought together though by some old school tracks.
Each act took to the stage for 25-45 minutes and played a mix of their best known tunes and fresher ones. Some of the best bits of the night included Kelis’ Trick Me, Kelly Rowland’s mash up of her Destiny Child days, Ne-Yo’s sultry grinding with two randoms from the crowd, and finally Sean Paul busting out ‘Temperature’ like it was 2005.
If anything, RnB Live Fridays made me wonder what has happened to rnb?! Does no body actually do it like Montell Jordan anymore? Is Drake’s facial hair the closest to Craig David we’ll get to see again? Is body popping on its way out? It seems like a lot of the fun and cheekiness of rnb is a thing of the past. I hope for the nostalgic fans like myself, RnB Live Fridays continues to come back every year so we can reminisce about a less complicated time in rhythm and blues.