Friday, May 2, 2014

Black Panties Promo Tour: Tampa Review

The Tampa Tribune: R. Kelly brings out the sexy during Forum show

R. Kelly still has it.

Just ask the 7,600 fans Thursday night at the Forum.

During his “Black Panties Tour” — his first arena tour since 2011 — the R&B singer took the crowd on a 90-minute unapologetic raunchy ride that included a lot of booty shaking, bump n’ grinds, a stripper and yes, black panties.

Decked in all black, the big voiced singer — no lip synching necessary — transformed the stage into part nightclub, part strip club complete with a bar, a bevy of females plucked from the audience, and at one point, a stripper on a pole.

Kelly opened the show with “My Story,” from his 12th studio album, “Black Panties,” before asking fans about their own under garments, then “making it rain” dollar bills on those clamoring at the front of the stage.

Over the next 90 minutes, the master of “baby making” music dug through his deep catalog of music, performing a medley of libidinous hits such as “Hotel,” Legs Shakin,” “Bump N’ Grind,” “It Seems Like You’re Ready,” and “Step in my Room,” along with party favorites like “Fiesta,” “I’m a Flirt,” and “Number One,” all as colorful videos streamed overhead.

At one point, the videos featured clips of Kelly cutting up in the studio and being interviewed about his lengthy career.

Kelly is very aware his fans know and love his music, often turning the microphone toward the audience to allow fans to sing his songs — and sing they did.

“Y’all some real R. Kelly fans,” he said, working them into a frenzy.

For his hit “I’m N Luv with a Stripper,” a stripper appeared on stage and danced on a pole, as Kelly sang to her and videos of strippers streamed on the big screen.

Kelly also paused to pull two women on stage for selfies and to read a raunchy poem celebrating the female anatomy.

From there, the Chicago native made his way through the audience to a platform to sing “Contagious,” and “Down Low,” before launching into an a cappella version of “I Believe I Can Fly” that showed off his true singing talent.

Kelly wrapped up his show with his monster hit, “Step in the Name of Love,” which had the entire audience steppin’ right along with him.

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