R. Kelly has been a staple of the R&B community for the past 29 years, which will forever make him eligible for the 80s and 90s babies as a “you’ve got to have this on a playlist” artist. The three-time Grammy Award winner has had countless hits, production credits and overall, the ability to capture attention for his craft.
On Sunday June 19, Kelly performed at the Smoothie King Center as a part of his 40-city tour called The Buffet, which has no correlation to a nearby Golden Corral on a Sunday afternoon post-church.
The tour started on April 21, 2016, in Cincinnati and made its way to the Big Easy. If the average person who has seen Kelly live on more than one occasion—what about the fan(s) who have enjoyed his music without ever seeing him in concert?
Kelly released his 13th studio album, The Buffet, on Dec. 11, 2015. While songs like “Anything Goes,” which features Ty Dolla $ign, or even “All My Fault” keep the continuity of his more mature sound, he doesn’t escape his roots of enticing songs with smooth transitions into more age-appropriate lyrics.
Here’s a quick guide to a few expectations while catching Kelly and The Buffet Tour:
- House of Payne star Demetria McKinney served as the opening act. Not only did she sound good live, but she pulled off good performances to Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love,” Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love”, and Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody.”
- Kelly himself came out to a cheering crowd of devoted fans--mostly women--but fans no less, who could mouth the words to each and every song he performed
- Hits like “Hotel,” “Half On a Baby,” “Contagious,” “I Believe I Can Fly,” “Bump n’ Grind" and the hook to the late Notorious B.I.G.’s “F***ing You Tonight” were among the playlist set assisted by a DJ and live instrumentation.
- His in-between skits were mediocre in their presentation with mild comedy added to them. Kelly even poked fun of his sexual misconduct allegations stemming from 2002 by having a sign saying, “No One Over 21!!!”
- While reminiscing over the span of his illustrious career, Kelly belted out “Change Gone Come” by the late Same Cooke as he made his way from one stage to the next.
- Those in attendance showed not only devotion but also signs that they had grown up with Kelly as his career progressed, with an estimated age range among his fans of 28-45 years old.
Kelly’s pit stop in New Orleans was nothing less than a solid delivery. Devoted fans won’t be disappointed as he continues the tour, and first-time concert-goers should get their money's worth. For the legend that is R. Kelly, the man behind Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” and Whitney Houston’s “I Look to You,” we give his show an overall B+ which is worth checking out.