R&B is back and is definitely here to stay. This is evident when R&B veterans like Lil Mo, Jon B, Avant, SWV and Donell Jones can still pack venues like the Paradise Theatre in the Bronx, NY.
Mr. Jon B opened the show by performing his most famous hit songs ranging from “Don’t Say,” “Someone To Love” (written by Babyface), “They Don’t Know” and “Are U Still Down.” He even treated the audience to a rendition of “Sweetest Taboo” by Sade. While not letting his entire set consist of old hit songs, Jon B managed to perform some new material from his forthcoming album Comfortable Swagg which is due to hit stores and online retail in 2 weeks. Jon was very excited as he talked about his upcoming album, which will be his first independent release. “I don’t have to worry about the label being on my back. I have 100% complete control of this project and I think you’ll enjoy it,” said Jon B.
Next up was the “sound siren” Lil Mo. Not to be confused with some veteran artists who have lost their touch, Mo came out with a powerful set reminding the audience that she’s that same chick from ten years ago. Lil Mo belted out her hits songs including “Ta Da,” “4 Ever” and “Superwoman.” “Fabolous couldn’t help me out tonight but I’m gonna rock out his verse for ya’ll” she said while performing “Superwoman.” After performing the song flawlessly, Mo reminded the audience that she still looks good after ten years and doesn’t have to wear butt pads to look good either. Lil Mo’s set wouldn’t be complete without taking the audience to church with a new song that may be included on her new project.
Although the audience seemed to be upset that Lil Mo’s set was short (compared to Jon B), they quickly got over it as the R&B crooner himself, Avant, hit the stage. Avant kicked off his set with his hit song “Makin Good Love” while his screaming female fans tried to drown him out. His follow-up song was an unfamiliar song, which seemed to have been taken from his last album Avant (which was not a commercial success). Things picked up quickly though after Avant segued into “Separated” minus the lovely Keke Wyatt. The audience helped out and assisted him when it came to Keke’s parts in the song. Before leaving the stage, Avant made sure to remind the audience to support his upcoming project titled The Letter due on December 7th in digital and CD format.
Keeping up with the momentum of the show, Donell Jones hit the stage with a bang by belting out his hits songs “U Know What’s Up,” “Where I Want To Be” and “You Know That I Love You.” Donell also performed some new material off of his recently released Lyrics album. The audience took well to the new material and based on the response, Donell was reminded that his fans still love him.
Perfectly fitting to close out the show, the lovely ladies known as SWV rocked out with a set that had the audience on their feet and singing along in unison. “Weak,” “Right Here/Human Nature,” and “I’m So Into You” all reminded the audience of why this female group is currently ranked #100 on the Top 500 Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years.
All in all, “Where I Want To Be” was a very good concert and definitely proves the stamina and staying power of every artist on the bill.