Aftermath: Even If You Couldn't Get In, R. Kelly Was Still Kinda Fun
FYI, the sign says "Enjoy the show." Assuming you could get in...
Photos by Brittanie Shey
Aftermath was really looking forward to R. Kelly. When we were asked to cover the event we were a little hesitant, since modern R&B is entirely outside of our scope of musical knowledge, if not slightly outside our personal musical taste. But after mulling over it a little we began to see it as an educational opportunity, a chance to broaden our musical horizons.
Before last week, we only knew two things about Kelly. So we got ready for the show by listening to some of his music, including the hilariously bad video for "Same Girl," which is so bad it's almost as good as a parody . (And that's assuming you've already seen Dave Chappelle's tribute .)
We understood that most of what R. Kelly sings about is sexing us up, so we took a couple of extra birth control pills just in case, (we were worried we might get inseminated by osmosis), and then we were totally ready to be converted to fandom, all jokes aside.
Much has been written about Kells' attempts of late to make amends with his casual audience, to seek forgiveness and rebound from his legal problems now that he's been acquitted. We were hoping to see this side of him too, this relieved (ha!), God-praising, reformed side. But then we looked at the lineup online. Kells' opener was a guy named Pleasure P. And the first single off R. Kelly's long-delayed new album is called "Number One." Aftermath gets the impression that Kelly just doesn't give a fuck about his reputation. That, or he's really, really dense. Anyway, it was all for naught. Some ticket snafu left us and our photog out in the cold, satisfied only by the heavy bass oozing from the walls of Reliant. We had a good time watching the eye candy walk by, girls waddling the invisible tightrope on stiletto heels, and sharp-dressed dudes of all ages and styles. That was one thing that surprised us was the age of the crowd - lots of middle-agers there, when we expected a much younger crowd. It was especially entertaining to see the cops forcibly escort what may have been the oldest man at the show out of the arena. He looked incredibly ornery and quite proud of his achievements.
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