Marvel Stadium once again opened their doors for the annual RnB Fridays, starring Brandy, Jason DeRulo , The Black Eyed Peas and the legendary Janet Jackson.
As the wintery winds blustered through the stadium, everyone was quickly warmed up with openers J-Kwon followed by Sisqo and Keri Hilson. As the sun began to set Brandy had the crowd up and moving to ‘ The Boy is Mine’ and ‘ What about Us? ‘ proving that she is an enjoyable performer to watch.
Not to be upstaged Jason DeRulo was all about the pyrotechnics and impressive backup dancers. Opening with ‘ Watch Say’ he powered through the hits as the Co2 and flames lit up the stage. Throwing in a medley with ‘ The Other Side/ Seven Nation Army’ he won over the crowd with his energetic performance. Removing his shirt for ‘ Talk Dirty’ and there was not a person standing still in the arena as he wooed the ‘ Beautiful Australian Women”.
After a short DJ set to keep the momentum going 50 Cent proved why he is the original gangsta with crowd favourite’ In da Club’ getting the whole stadium excited. Barely taking a breath throughout the entire set as he rapped his way through the hits, he proved quite quickly how much of a seasoned performer he is.
The Black Eyed Peas raised the roof and made it rain opening with ‘ Lets get it Started’ and it was then that the party REALLY got started. The band were tight and polished for their performance – and couldn’t stop telling Australian fans how much they love us. The lights dimming for ‘ Where is the Love?’, thousands of lights illuminating the arena to a huge sing along. Confetti cannons popping off made the set feel like it was closing out the evening. Kudos to the Peas for bringing thousands of voices together to unite in song.
After a short delay Janet Jackson rises from a large podium to greet Melbourne with her signature black jumpsuit. She looks amazing and moves well, however the backing track and out of time lip syncing are doing her no favours. Promising to play Rhythm Nation in full, she instead powers through the album only singing snippets from each song and the whole set feels both rushed and forced. Its a shame for those who have waited all day to see her, and as fans exit in droves its clear nobody is impressed.
RnB Fridays hosted by Fatman Scoop has once again bought together some of the 90s biggest acts under one roof in a celebration of music and dance. Its been a trip down memory lane for most of the audience and has bought joy to the crowd as they danced their way into the night.
Words and images by Amanda Lee Starkey