V103 hosted its 4th annual Block Party at the Huntington Pavilion in downtown Chicago overlooking Lake Michigan. It was a high powered affair. Daley, Tank, Brandy, Ne-Yo, Ja Rule, Ashanti and Keith Sweat provided an enjoyable night under the cloudy north side sky.
The stand out performance of the evening has to go to Ne-Yo. I haven’t had the opportunity to see him perform live before, but after watching his high energy and effortless show, I will make it my business to catch up on his discography and learn all his fancy dance moves. Brandy had an unusually short set and knowing that she is one of our most powerful and talented singers, I feel cheated, as she sang over instrumentals in the background with no back up singers. At this point in her career, she deserves all the bells and whistles and so do her fans. Ja Rule and Ashanti brought us back to the time when Murder Inc was in full control of the charts. They performed all of their songs individually and came together at the end to sing the hits that they have together. It is easy to forget that they hogged radio for a long time.
Sweat may not be the most amazing tenor you ever heard, but he has a knack for writing a song and being a crooner. The ladies ate it up. The 56 year-old singer danced across the stage to a few high tempo joints right before bringing a surprise guest to the stage. R. Kelly walked onto the stage and the crowd went into a frenzy. He freestyled a few things. It looked like he wasn’t expecting to sing, but in the midst of boycotts and petitions it didn’t seem like anyone at this particular show would have joined a boycott or signed a petition against the pied piper.