A Firsthand Account of What You Can Expect From R. Kelly's Single Ladies Tour
R. Kelly brings his Single Ladies Tour to Madison Square Garden Wednesday and Friday of this week. It's a 90-minute performance that lives up to Kelly's reputation for being talented, entertaining and batshit crazy. How do we know? We've got troops on the ground, and they caught the Pied Piper of r&b's show recently at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. And they tell us Kells had his crotch grabbed 26 times that night, two by his own hand. He performed 50 (!) songs. Read on for what else you can expect from his show, including a set list.
By Ryan Wasoba
Curtain drops, R. Kelly appears in silhouette from behind a thin white sheet. He performs "Huff And Puff." Sheet falls, and Kelly is donning a white leather jacket with "SINGLE" bedazzled in gold jewels down his left sleeve and "V.I.ME" written on the back in the same fashion. We discover these jewels are actually miniature LED lights a few songs later--or, rather, sections of songs since the majority of his set played like a montage of his hits in 10 to 60 second clips.
R. Kelly takes every opportunity to shout out the single ladies and to demand the crowd make some noise. In his trademark "Trapped In The Closet" delivery, he sing-speaks into his sparkling white wireless microphone, "I'm gonna stop this show unless I know it's all real R. Kelly fans up in this motherfucker."
R. Kelly meanders around the stage asking in this same "Trapped" style, "Can I get a towel to wipe my face--'cause that's what we motherfuckin' do." Then, "Can somebody out there wipe my face?" as he kneels to the standing fans crowded around the stage. Two women grab the towel and start to fight over it before Kelly sings, slightly higher pitched and more aggressive, "Will some other bitch just wipe my goddamn face?"
R. Kelly asks for a single lady out there to tell him what she'd want to do to him. A woman leans on stage and whispers something, to which he replies, "Are you serious, girl? I've never even heard of shit like that. You gonna fuck around and get me pregnant."
R. Kelly fakes out the audience after 30 minutes, says "That's my time, thanks." The audience, of course, calls him out on it and he responds by picking up a sheet of paper and literally reading the setlist thus far in the show. "Oh, my bad, I got like 52 more songs to do tonight." He grabs another sheet of paper and puts it in his pocket. Somebody asks what it is and he replies, "Oh, that's just some scrap shit."
R. Kelly says, "It's hot up here. I need a stool or a chair or some shit." His crew brings him a throne and he performs "R&B Thug" acapella and seated.