Performing the first of three concerts in his surprise Royalty mini-tour, Chris Brown was received as royalty—no pun intended—last night (Sunday, December 13) in Chicago. Breezing through the Windy City, Brown serenaded concert goers with intimacy and his showmanship in tact.
“We want Chris! We want Chris!” demanded the audience of shrieking fans, mostly females ranging from their late teens to 20s. Die hard fans stood salivating the arrival of the superstar as they were SnapChatting and Instagramming the evening away. Michael Jackson hits kept the concert goers company as bright red lights drowned the stage, warming it in anticipation for the Virginia native’s entrance.
Unseasonably warm temperatures and scattered showers didn’t stop Breezy fans from flooding the Aragon Ballroom, the vintage standing room only venue, which once held secret tunnels leading to the basement for crime boss Al Capone (according to legend). Although one hour late, there was no love lost from #TeamBreezy.
The 53 minute-long set was a non-stop party; an electric mix of uptempo hip-pop hits to snippets of his hit-making hooks and features, like DJ Khaled‘s “How Many Times” to triple X-rated bedroom tracks where he had his way with fans like putty as a master seducer. From “2012” to the wildly sexy track “Wet The Bed,” Brown teased fans with welcomed peeks at his tattooed pecks, flirting with on-lookers with pelvic thrusts as the women fell victim to his alluring charm.
Despite an impressive live band on deck, Chris’s vocals weren’t the star of the night, as the Grammy Award winner relied heavily on vocal tracks. His choreography, along with four B-boys who mocked his every move, stole the show. With a mind seemingly of its own, Brown’s fluid body movements and choreography carried the set with force. Gyrating, nay-naying and swaying from one side to the next, the “Liquor” singer, with the occasional jump into the pit as fans feined for a touch, effortlessly entertained.
Previewing tracks off his seventh studio album Royalty, due in stores December 18, such as “Fine by Me,” “Zero,” and “Sex You Back to Sleep,” Brown kept the audience captivated. Much like a roller coaster ride, viewers were catapulted on a musical joy ride through his arsenal of hits, sans seat belt. From the sugary-sweet “Yo (Excuse me Miss)” (2005) when we were first introduced to the squeaky-clean, charming, dimpled teenager, to the lustful “Take You Down” (2007) and other panty droppers where only a microphone stand and a swarm of red-hot lights accompanied him, all eyes was on Brown.
Juxtaposing new and old, the transition from boy to man was even more evident as Brown juggled ballads to dance-pop tracks, from raw and ruthless to seductively gentle. Sending women in a frenzy, who literally fought over his army-fatigue designed T-shirt and white cap after launching them into a sea of gawking fans, Brown solidified his reputation as an adored dance machine.
San Francisco, you got next.
Photo credit: Daniel Boczarski