Ne-Yo, R Kelly, soca and rain

The concert started promptly at 8 pm, much to the appreciation of the approximately 5,000 patrons, as host Jason Williams came on and introduced the Viking Family as the opening act.

Patrons who bought Redlight Lounge and Black Diamond (VVIP and VIP) tickets received the red carpet treatment on arrival, which included a stemmed rose for each lady before being escorted to their seat.

The show opened with Bunji and FayAnn performing their numerous hits such as “Tabanca,” “We Doing this Owah,” “Heavy-T Bumper” and “Differentology.”

“I know allyuh came to see Ne-Yo and allyuh came to see R Kelly, but at the end of the day we representing Trinidad and Tobago,” FayAnn said to screaming fans.

She then went on to cover a few popular reggae and R&B songs such as “Rockaway” by Beres Hammond and “One Drop” by Taurus Riley, as well as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. Both performances included B-Boy dancers. To the delight of the fans, the raspy-voiced singer belted out her version of Mars’ hit “When I was Your Man,” dedicating it to the men and, at one point, singing directly to her husband Bunji at the end. The Viking Family closed off their segment with Bunji’s Hot 97’s Battle of the Beats winning song “Differentology.”

Ne-Yo hit the stage a few minutes later with his band and fans stood up and danced for his entire set. The R&B crooner opened with “Let’s Go,” performing with seven back-up dancers. Unfortunately, it began to rain before Ne-Yo got into his third song. VIP patrons were sitting in the open air while the general admission patrons were able to stay dry in the covered stands. Ne-Yo continued his set with popular hits such as “Mad,” “Ms. Independent” and “Sexy Love.” His trip to the Caribbean seemed well spent as he made several friends whom he invited to perform with him on stage after he sang his first reggae song “You Girl,” featuring Shaggy (who was not present). He brought out dancehall star Popcaan and local artiste Kes as he danced in the background. Ne-Yo had time to take a little “wine” with Kes during “Wotless” and be stripped by a female back-up dancer during “Lazy Love” before the showers really came crashing down and VIP patrons, including former President Professor George Maxwell Richards and his wife Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards, scampered away with many not returning. Like the true professional that he is however, Ne-Yo completed his set.

By the time Machel hit the stage, all seating arrangements were disrupted by the inclement weather. Many patrons were left standing as the chairs were now soaked. However, patrons were up and dancing in the rain, some were covering their heads with chairs, and many swarmed the exclusive RedLight Lounge section causing the event to look more like a wet fete than the intimate concert the promoters intended. Machel included fellow HD members Patrice Roberts and Farmer Nappy in his set and brought out rising stars Positive and Collis Duranty before closing off his segment.

It was almost 2 am before R Kelly performed, approximately an hour-and-a-half after Machel’s set ended. Many patrons dispersed, leaving empty spaces everywhere, and others remained upset but waited to hear at least two songs being performed by the Grammy award winner before leaving. Those who endured to the end were treated to a catalogue of R Kelly’s hits such as “Body Calling,” “Bump and Grind” and “Fiesta.”


"Ne-Yo, R Kelly, soca and rain"

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