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Concert Review: The Keyshia Cole A Different Me Tour At The Chicago Theater

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People should go to concerts to listen to the music and see the artist perform the music live. If anything was proven during The Keyshia Cole A Different Me Tour visit to The Chicago Theater, it's that some people do a little more than listen to the music. The show, which consisted of Bobby Valentino, Keri Hilson and The Dream with Keyshia Cole at the very end, seem to be an exercise in celebrity obsession.

Bobby Valentino, known for such songs as "Anonymous", "Tell Me" and his most recent hit "Beep", came out first. He jumped about the stage from left to right doing his part straight to the script. The ladies of course were excited to see him and demonstrated that as they all ran to the pit seats. Correct me if i'm wrong, but you are supposed to have tickets to be anywhere near the pit seating area. I probably am wrong.

Bobby Valentino didn't seem to mind. When he probably saw the air going out from his performance, he took off his shirt and jumped down to the pit seating area of the theater. I gotta admit that it takes balls to do that sort of thing and not worry about getting harmed. Still, the security seemed awful lax about the personal space between him and the audience.

Then again, they seemed lax about that for most of the concert.

Somewhere in the middle of all these performances, I had a slight fear that The Chicago Theater hadn't patched it's roof. For at least a couple of minutes I was sure that a rainstorm was slowly making it's way towards my balding head. Because I had a seat just below the front of the balcony, I suspected that it was really someone who had a poor hold on their drink.

Keri Hilson came out next. I will say that she is a better dancer than she is a singer. Her songs seemed a bit passive to me. She's probably better writing for other people as has with "Runaway Love" and "Take Me As I Am" which she both wrote (according to her) for Mary J. Blige. She was a bit more interactive than Bobby Valentino was, but it was merely to advertise herself. I wouldn't have minded that so much except that it came kinda out of the blue and seem to throw off the charged vibe she was giving from doing songs like "Get Your Money Up" and "Turnin' Me On".

I figure that if I like your songs, your personality and the way you perform live, I'll make the effort to learn more about you. Advertising what you wrote, what you been through in your life and what you hope to accomplish is only good if you don't suck. If you aren't exactly filled with talent, advertising your musical catalog ain't gonna change much.

Did anyone notice a seemingly random male dancer during Hilson's set? He seemed to be dancing with the songs he was dancing to, but he seemed to be unlightable to the guy doing the lighting above. He probably when he got finished went upstairs and cussed the light guy out.

The Dream came out next. I didn't really pay attention to him given that his singing voice is unlistenable. Like Keri Hilson, he's probably better as a songwriter than he is as a singer. I give him credit thou — he does find some sexy as hell dancers to vibe with him on his songs.

When Keyshia Cole came out for her set, it was clear that she made some changes to the way she wanted to perform. She started out with the more sadder hits such as "I Should've Cheated", "Let It Go" and "I Remember" which the audience responded well to. I find that interesting on a creepy level how happy some women get when a song about love gone wrong and no-good men is played. Do men suck that bad?

Things picked up when she went into the more positive set of songs from her A Different Me album. It's strange how well the lyrical rhythms of Tupac and the sultry sounds of Keyshia Cole mesh together in "Playa Cardz Right". It could possibly be one of the best tracks she's ever done.

Another one that seemed to do more for Keyshia was "Make Me Over", a song she did at the end of her set. Here, and dressed like she could have been in the 1920's, Keyshia danced her behind off. I was impressed with her effort to have a bit more fun.

Amina, a rapper featured on Cole's "Shoulda Let You Go", was given some shine during the middle of Keyshia's performance. I couldn't really make out the lyrics. Something about "Get Money, Make Money, Get Money!". I'm sure 50 Cent could use her for G-Unit.

A couple of Keyshia Cole's backup singers were given their own time to shine. One of them sang "Sweet Thing" and the other sang "Ain't Nobody". They filled the room with their good looks and their voices. I wanted to get their autograph and most importantly their names. Thanks to the bad audio of The Chicago Theater, I missed that chance.

Perhaps people who have been to other concerts during this tour can tell me the name of the two singers. If they know them personally, tell them they rocked the house at The Chicago Theater. I'm sure they'd appreciate the kind words.

Bobby Valentino, Keri Hilson and The Dream didn't bring their A-Game. Keyshia Cole did. Whether Miss Cole can sell an arena's worth of tickets in the vein of Beyonce is another matter entirely. I certainly hope she can.

I'm tired of Beyonce these days.

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About Matthew Milam

  • Kelli Means

    I saw Keyshia Cole in 07 @ The House of Blues in San Diego. She was about 90 mins late to grace the stage. Very tacky, I thought. In the end her performance was pretty good and worth the $35 tickets price. Last night (2 years later), I saw her again at Humpreys in San Diego. She is still true to being unfashionably late. She came on an hour late and was minus her 2 opening acts. The Dream and Keri Hilson were advertised on Ticketmaster as her opening acts. She only performed for about 90 mins and although she her vocals were good, she seemed almost lethargic. When she announced that we were her 2nd to last stop and that she would be doing her final tour in her hometown of Oaklnd the very next day I rationalized this was the reason for her substandard act in San Diego. I paid close to $200 for 2 tickets. Needless to say, I will not be in attendance at any of her future concerts…whether I buy a CD is again also very doubtful…Sorry Ms. Cole..

  • DreamGirl

    First of all Beyonce isnt all that. She is fake.. With this whole Sasha Fierce Crap!! Keyshia Cole is better than her one reason being that she is real!!!! Keri Hilson and The Dream are good singers so you should just stop being haters!!!

  • Serline croor

    Why mention Bey with Keisha.She can’t hold a candle to BEY.

  • Iris

    You need to read the reviews of Beyonce’s concerts for her lastest tour. They’ve been nothing but amazingly stellar. Because the woman gives a 150% every show. The woman never gets into trouble for anything, been with the same man for 8 years and has a tremendous work ethic. What else do people want from this lady. People need to really appreciate what Beyonce brings to the industry. I suggest that you check Beyonce out in concert, and maybe your mind will be changed.

  • Jordan Richardson

    how about YOU try singing and dancing all at once.

    I’m always interested by this critique. I’ve been told many times by disgruntled fans that I should “try playing guitar” or something with respect to my opinion about a particular piece of music. Why would I need to “go rap” to prove I don’t like G-Unit? Boggles the mind…

    Moreover, why would a writer or a critic “try singing and dancing all at once?” It isn’t the critic’s job to do that; it’s the critic’s job to critique what he or she has experienced. As far as I know, dear Matthew isn’t a singer or a dancer, but Keri is and if she’s not good at her vocation then she’s not good at it.

  • keri can sing better than you think. no one can do their best live 100% of the time. how about YOU try singing and dancing all at once.

    you’re just a typical keri hater. not surprising.