Chris Brown, T-Pain, Tyga, Bow Wow Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion October 16, 2011
"I work too hard to be ballin on a budget" proclaimed Chris Brown as he stood atop of the massive stage when his F.A.M.E. tour stopped into The Woodlands Sunday night. The production level of this concert was certainly over the top and expensive, with lasers, a live band, acrobatic dancers, and big screens galore. Very MTV VMA-esque.
Yet none of that distracted his fans from the real Chris Brown show, the one where he sang and danced harder than any other artist Aftermath has seen live this year.
Brown's F.A.M.E. album was released back in March, and has produced several hit singles, including "Deuces," "Yeah 3X" and "Look At Me Now." The album, as well as his live show, is a confident mix of electro-dance numbers, hip-hop tracks, and sexy love ballads. The acronym "F.A.M.E." is short for "Fans Are My Everything" and also "Forgiving All My Enemies." It certainly seems that his fans have forgiven him for his past indiscretions.
Opening the show were a pair of young rappers from the YMCMB set (Lil Wayne's crew). The first was newcomer Tyga, who resembled a mini-Wiz Khalifa with his tattoos, shades, and snapback.
He definitely embodies the Young Money swag, with the gold chains and a determined flow. The other young rapper, not quite a newcomer, dropped his first album at 13 years old. Bow Wow, now 24, seems to have a renewed energy after signing with Cash Money, and his new album Underrated is set to drop next month.
Next up was T-Pain (right), who delivered what was basically a mixtape of all of the songs he has ever been featured on, with hits like "Bartender" and "Buy You a Drank" leading the way. The "rapper ternt sanga" is notorious for this use of Auto-Tune, but his live shows are much more natural.
Aftermath was very surprised how well he actually sings without the crutch of voice-modification software. He also danced quite well for a man his size.
Brown emerged onto the stage dressed in camouflage and combat boots, and immediately went to work - poppin', breaking, and even krumping to "I Can Transform Ya" and "Wall To Wall." He slowed down just enough to serenade his fans with "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)," and then introduced a new Swizz Beats-produced track called "Dance Like a White Girl," which turned out to be extremely popular among The Woodlands' demographic.
The Pavilion erupted when Brown took off his shirt, revealing a chest plate and sleeves full of tattoos. A bed was introduced onstage, and a lucky (we guess) young lady became his object of desire for "Wet the Bed." This was our second concert in a row where the headliner practically makes love to a fan onstage. Kids these days...
The DJ took us through an intermission filled with a tribute to Houston rap, including Propain's "Say I Won't," Lil Keke's "Southside" and Beat King's "Hammer."
Then Brown came back to the stage, promising to continue the party. He ran through many of his uptempo dance hits, but fit in slow jams like "No Air." He ended the night in a Tron-like suit and finished strong with "Beautiful People."
Personal Bias: You know all those videos on Youtube where people rap the lyrics of "Look At Me Now"? Mine was deleted by Youtube for being too awesome.
The Crowd: Young Girls mostly, yelling at the top of their lungs.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Chris Breezy could get it!"
Random Notebook Dump: I think I'm starting to like these electro-dance party anthems.
CHRIS BROWN SET LIST
Say It With Me Transform Ya Wall To Wall Kush Run It Yo (Excuse Me Miss) Leave The Club Body 2 Body Wet The Bed Take You Down No BS She Ain't You Oh My Love My Last Deuces Snapbacks Back Holla At Me Ain't Thinking About You Look At Me Now Paper, Scissor, Rock Next 2 You With You No Air
Yeah 3X Forever
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