Last Night: Ne-Yo at Nokia Theatre

Ne-Yo, Musiq Soulchild & Jazmine Sullivan
Nokia Theatre

February 15, 2009

Better than: The usual endurance test that most multi-act concerts usually are.

I'll admit it. I didn't know heading into last night's show that Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild were on the bill with Ne-Yo at Grand Prairie's Nokia Theatre. But it's safe to say that this was a pleasant surprise.

Sullivan opened the show and gave a wholly solid performance. Her vocals were absolutely on point and she sings with the passion and hunger of someone who just got into the business. It was lovely. I can't wait for girlfriend to get a stylist though, because her outfit didn't flatter her figure well.

I also look forward to her growing a performer and resisting the urge to double over to push out those really intense notes. And because "I Need You Bad" has so many intense notes, she was doubled over a lot. But enough critique, the girl rocked it plain and simple.

Musiq and his all-girl band, Anna Mae, took the show over at 8 p.m. The ladies-only touch was a cool one--although I wondered if he has some kind of sneaky fetish since they were all kind of dressed like school girls.

True to form, Musiq gave a great show, hitting some Prince-quality falsetto notes. The crowd sat for the majority of his set until he performed "Radio" which unleashed all of the bounce Southern folks are known to love. That segued into "Just Friends" and "B.U.D.D.Y." turning the theater into an old school party as the crowd joined Musiq in a few late '80s dances.

Soon thereafter, the James Bond theme signaled Ne-Yo's arrival--the energy in the room was electric.

And as soon as he rose from an elevated platform on the stage, shrouded in multiple streams of smoke, I knew he came to put it down.

Dressed in an iridescent three-piece suit, his steely-gray jacket glittered along with his neon mic stand as he opened with "Because of You." Joined by two male and two female dancers, all of his movements were swift, slick and sharp.

He took several opportunities to address the audience, even singing happy birthday to a tearful blonde in the front row. He dedicated "Make it Work" to a couple married for three years.

The highlight of his set was "Stop This World." The stage filled with smoke and the LCD screen displayed a rolling blue sky, as he belted out one of the most beautiful love songs I'd ever heard.

Critic's Notebook.
Personal bias:
I see Musiq every time he comes to town.

Random note: The chicks in the row behind me (who knew all of Ne-Yo's songs) hated really hard on the girl who got the birthday serenade" "Ohmigod, Becky, he sang to me!" "Girl please, it aint that serious."

By the way: Ne-Yo's band, the D Boyz, played an instrumental of "Swagga Like Us" that freaking rocked.

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