If you’re a die heard R&B lover, who has been waiting to hear the voices of some of the best R&B crooners of our time, then you needed to be at the “R&B Love Fest,” this past weekend! For one night only, the UCF-CFE Arena hosted the “R&B Love Fest” on Saturday, November 15th, 2014 featuring Dru Hill, Sisqo, Jagged Edge and Keith Sweat as the headliner. These artists came together for this special night, taking everyone down lover’s lane, and reminding us why R&B of the 80’s, 90’s and early millennium touches you like no other music can.
Dru Hill opened the show with their 1996 debut single, “Tell Me,” and instantly had everyone on their feet. Fans were singing each word, from start to finish; and trust me these gentlemen still sound like their records. Sisqo most definitely was the star of the set, bursting with energy (including a few one-handed cartwheels) and rocking his signature blond hair. However, Jazz’s gospel tinged voice was not to be forgotten as he belted out some of the most beautiful adlibs over there myriad of hits. Nokio and newest addition, Tao (who replaced original member James “Woody Rock” Green), also represented- showing they haven’t missed a beat.
Then came Jagged Edge, our favorite Atlanta male group with twins Brandon and Brian other group members, Kyle and Wingo. They serenaded the crowd with their hits, “Gotta Be,” “Let’s Get Married,” and “Promise,” among others. JE openly shared with the crowd their laments about missing the R&B music of the past and even debated if R&B has been drowned out by the hip hop genre. After that brief debate though, they broke out in song, and reminded us that some music just can’t compare. These men have a new project out JE Heartbreak Too, just released this June 2014 and they sang the first single from the project “Hope.” They promised fans they’ll release a new album before 2014 is out!
Bringing down the house was none other than Mr. New Jack Swing himself, Keith Sweat. Talk about loyal fans…Keith Sweats fans- especially the ladies- are like no other. The ladies rushed the stage, and screamed with every hit he sang, for his entire hour set. Even the men in the audience, couldn’t help but admire the legend in R&B, as he sang his catalogue hits ranging from the mid 70’s to today. He even brought out former lead vocalist, Gary Jenkins, from the famed group Silk, singing with him on one of their exclusive hits. Keith helped discover Silk back in the 90’s, as well as female group Kut Klose. The stamina and showmanship Mr. Sweat has, is to be commended, as many of the younger artists out these days, still have nothing on him! He puts on a show and will continue to do a few show dates, going into the New Year, throughout the country. So be on the lookout in a city near you.
Concert Promoter, Charlie Rock, says he knew this show would be a hit in the city, and he was not mistaken. He promises to bring the “R&B Love Fest” again year after year, and hopes to feature more beloved R&B acts like Jodeci, Ginuwine and the Isley Brothers. I’m sure as long as he keeps the concerts coming, the fans will be ready to show up and show out with their R&B favorites, year after year.
By Shani Lodge