December 3, 2013
Better than: The Super Bowl halftime show
Many different incarnations of Beyonce performed at the Staples Center last night. There was Beyonce the naughty girl, the "Run the World" dominatrix, Queen Bey, Sasha Fierce and, of course, Beyonce as Mrs. Carter.
But at the core of all this, there was Beyonce as entertainment machine, the engine running her nearly two hour spectacular of a concert.
kris ex Jessie Ware
About midway through her set last night, Jessie Ware said this was the very last of her shows for her 2012 album Devotion. It was hard to take seriously -- the album's been released in three different formats (an EP version and a Gold Edition followed the initial UK release) and Ware has been "closing out" her tour since July; she's been touring the US for the past month. "We've been on tour for five weeks," she said. "And for a Jewish Princess that's a big deal."
Her music -- the White pop soul of Lisa Stansfield tinged with the smoldering, deep loyalty love and torch songs of Sade -- has resonated with listeners worldwide. Her success is something she hasn't quite embraced; whenever the audience clapped or reacted to the opening notes of a song, she was embarrassed and taken back.
After taking a break for several years, the Boyz behind these early '90s classics -- Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman (bass singer Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to health issues) -- are back. Taking time off from their Las Vegas residency, various TV gigs and recording a new album, Boyz II Men perform tonight at Staples Center. It's part of their Package Tour, which also features boy bands 98° Degrees and headliners New Kids on the Block.
Boyz II Men are the openers, and perform 30 minutes of their most familiar tunes. Nonetheless, the sound of screaming women is just as loud now as it was twenty years ago, says Stockman and Nathan Morris. "We were blessed with Ferraris to drive," says the latter, speaking of their song catalog metaphorically. "The women fell in love with those cars." Below, they discuss their biggest hits!
Santa Monica-based company Handmade Mobile Entertainment created an app called The Angel Network, an online fan club and social network for the R&B star. Since launching in December, the app (called TAN for short) is raking in over $50,000 a month from about 52,000 users. Songz's rabid fan base purchases credits to put towards virtual gifts, greater access to their idol, and pure bragging rights.
Better than: Selling fish plates
On Friday night, a long line of mostly women wrapped around Club Nokia for the Keyshia Cole concert. Devoted fans of the Oakland bred R&B star came out in full force with tight spandex dresses and too-sexy-to-be-comfortable heels. It was a night of booty pops and all things ratchet.
See also: Leave Keyshia Cole Alone