review | ne-yo live in london

R&B superstar NE-YO touched down in London’s O2 arena on Wednesday night bringing all his classics and “future classics” with him. The award-winning hit maker opened the UK-leg of his Champagne & Roses world tour with infectiously timeless track Closer. Dressed in a hot red suit, NE-YO ignited crowds with his pitch-perfect performance following opening act and R&B star Mario.

Showmanship has always been NE-YO’s speciality. He delivered immaculate Michael Jackson-inspired choreography to an engaged crowd ready to twerk, serenade and hype each other up at any moment. NE-YO wasn’t the only spectacle of the show either, the fans were too. The show featured banterous interactions between the audience and star. He commanded the stage with charisma and charm, even assigning a fan in the crowd to be his water girl for the evening which became a running skit throughout the night. NE-YO also invite three fans to perform on stage which proved the reach of his legacy, as just like the crowd, they represented the diversity of R&B lovers.

The entire show was undoubtedly catered towards women with his skillful dancers called Miss Rights representing the power and sexiness that NE-YO writes about in his music. No classic was left behind as the set list catered to OG fans and new ones. Recent songs were sprinkled between hit singles like So Sick, Sexy Love and Hate That I Love You.

NE-YO’s sound is so synonymous with a certain era of pop and R&B that it was only right that they dedicate a brief section of the show to the hits he’s written for other stars like Beyonce’s Irreplaceable and Rihanna’s Take A Bow. Watching NE-YO perform through his vast discography, it’s hard to miss how current a lot of his songs still sound. NE-YO is a seasoned example of a performer who has mastered his craft.

photography. Isha Shah
words. Shama Nasinde

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