Ten Things That Actually Happened at Friday’s R. Kelly Concert

Andrew Barber 0

Kells could quite possibly be the greatest entertainer working right now.  His recent shenanigans have induced plenty of “spit my drink on my screen” moments over the past few weeks.  This past weekend he had a blowout show at Madison Square Garden in NYC, and Vulture was on hand to report the 10 Greatest Things that happened during Robert’s show.  All 10 are pretty hilarious, but I’ve decided to include a few of my favorites up top.  Expand the post to read them all.

Oh, and best believe the next time Robert has a show in the Chi, I’m going to be there

2. At concert’s beginning, the curtain opened on a set made to look like the outside of a club — velvet ropes on both sides of the stage, people in line, a red carpet, etc. Following a medley of club-set jams like “Thoia Thoing,” “Hotel,” “I’m a Flirt,” and “Freaky in the Club,” Kellz ordered a roadie, “Can you move that carpet, please? I almost tripped three goddamn times.” Then he repeated himself, singing his demand. “You laugh, but I can make a song out of anything,” he told the crowd. “That shit will be on the radio and you’ll all be back here next year.” He’s totally right; we’re still humming it.

4. For “I Can’t Sleep Baby (If I),” the stage was made to look like the inside of a log cabin, with Kellz sitting in a rocking chair atop a bearskin rug in front of a projected video of a fireplace. Fake snow fell from the ceiling.

9. A pair of panties was tossed onstage. Stagehands brought out a changing screen, which Kelly disappeared behind, returning minutes later wearing the same clothes. Then he tossed a pair of his own underwear into the crowd, instructing security guards, “Let her keep those.”

Spotted via Bol


1. In the lobby before the show, there was a stand at which lucky fans could have their photos taken in front of a giant airbrushed portrait of R. Kelly for the low price of $20.

2. At concert’s beginning, the curtain opened on a set made to look like the outside of a club — velvet ropes on both sides of the stage, people in line, a red carpet, etc. Following a medley of club-set jams like “Thoia Thoing,” “Hotel,” “I’m a Flirt,” and “Freaky in the Club,” Kellz ordered a roadie, “Can you move that carpet, please? I almost tripped three goddamn times.” Then he repeated himself, singing his demand. “You laugh, but I can make a song out of anything,” he told the crowd. “That shit will be on the radio and you’ll all be back here next year.” He’s totally right; we’re still humming it.

3. The last time he performed in New York, Kelly said, he did a song for girls with big booties. So Friday, to be fair, he did one for girls with small booties: “Little-booty girls, would you stand and turn around? Slap it and ask the big-booty girls, ‘How you like me now?'” (Girls with flat booties will have to come back next year for their song, he said.)

4. For “I Can’t Sleep Baby (If I),” the stage was made to look like the inside of a log cabin, with Kellz sitting in a rocking chair atop a bearskin rug in front of a projected video of a fireplace. Fake snow fell from the ceiling.

5. “Everybody told me not to bring this up,” he told us during a break. “But this is my first tour since my court case. They said ‘Don’t bring it up, they don’t want to hear that shit’ … Fuck that! This is the first tour since my court case! [Singing] And I’m still here! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! You ever felt like that for some reason? It ain’t got to be court!” Then he sang “Heaven I Need a Hug.”

6. Kellz performed “Number One” sitting in a movie-theater seat while wearing the shiniest, most retina-scorching silver lamé trench coat we’ve ever seen. This may look like just a bad iPhone photo, but it actually gives you a pretty accurate idea of what fans saw as they were being blinded.

7. During a set change, audience members who still had their vision watched a video of Kelly recalling the time he spent working with Michael Jackson on “You Are Not Alone.” Among Michael’s talents was his excellent taste in others’ music, noted Kellz before showing the famous clip of MJ dancing in the backseat of a car to “Ignition (Remix).”

8. The Jackson tribute segued into one for Sam Cooke, during which a tuxedoed, bowtied Kelly capably took on “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “Bring It on Home to Me.”

9. A pair of panties was tossed onstage. Stagehands brought out a changing screen, which Kelly disappeared behind, returning minutes later wearing the same clothes. Then he tossed a pair of his own underwear into the crowd, instructing security guards, “Let her keep those.”

10. Because he’d sang “Ignition (Remix),” his biggest hit of the past decade, only a half hour into his set, he closed with awesome, confetti-cannon-enhanced versions of “Step in the Name of Love” and “Happy People.” No encore was necessary.