Following his sell out shows last summer, Trey Songz, AKA Tremaine Aldon Neverson, arrived on stage late for this post-Easter treat. But with the gig sold out in hours, it didn’t take much for his fans, largely comprised of Trey’s Angels, to forgive him. Backed by a four-piece band, Trey began the road to redemption with Whatever You Like.
Looking slick in a grey leather jacket, jeans and shades, he slipped and slided into saucy songs including I Invented Sex, I Need a Girl, Can’t Help But Wait and Missing You. Reminiscent of a young Usher, though Trey admittedly does not dance much, he did mesmerise the ladies in the audience with his confidence and charm, so much so that they literally threw their underwear on stage – at one point it got a little too close for comfort leading Trey to admit that it was ‘the first time he had been hit in the face with a bra.’
With the 5,000 capacity venue in the palm of his hands, Trey encouraged the audience to sing along. The 26-year-old Virginian native was only getting started. Full of energy, he at times bounced and skipped across the stage when performing high octane numbers. His range was impressive with an array of vocal gymnastics on show especially during his cover of Rihanna’s Love The Way You Lie. He revealed more of himself as the night wore on; he wore less. First removing the jacket and then the shades by the time he got to Already Taken.
The Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter declared that he was searching for a lady before launching into the infectious Say Aah, which allowed him to fully display his swagger and snippets of his rapping skills. As the element of hip-hop was introduced with a sample of 50 Cent’s In Da Club, Trey took the opportunity to give birthday shout-outs to anyone celebrating in the audience.
He also hailed his Angels, which included the mysterious Danielle who was to be demarcation for his parting of the sea of people. In age-old fashion, he tested how audible different parts of the audience were. Part of his success in performing live is involving the audience. In an effort to acknowledge his fans he spent considerable time in reading T-shirts, posters and identifying people by items of clothing, jewellery or even face paint! But when one girl asked to go on stage he retorted “What you gonna do? You ain’t ready for that…”
He further teased the audience by requesting that he be their boyfriend for the night before singing Jupiter Love and the popular Can’t Be Friends. Though some were cynical, it was all too much for a few faint girls who had to be carried away due to the excessive heat in the venue. But Trey did not cool things down; he turned things up with more material from his four studio albums including Runaway, Black Roses, The Usual, Doorbell, Panty Droppa, Love Faces and Neighbours Know My Name. Even the men in the audience had to give him props for his affect on women.
Though a minimalist set design, his band, comprised of two guitarists, a drummer and a keyboardist, were really jamming, fusing R&B, Hip-hop and Rock beats. In the mix, Trey stripped to his vest to the delight of his fans – a move only topped when he poured water over his head! His passion and commitment to his performance was admirable and it is easy to see why he was named Best Male R&B Artist at the 2010 BET Awards. The now bare-chested Trey’s invitation to two ladies to join him onstage evoked envy from sections of the audience when they booed as he entered into Ménage à trois.
Quick to denounce the “haters in the building”, and having referred the newly coined ‘freaks’ backstage, Trey went back to what he does best, engaging the entire audience in performing Bottoms Up.
Following Luke Bingham and Talay Riley’s stint as a support act, in a grand finale Trey invited special guest and collaborator Chipmunk on stage to rapturous applause, to pop champagne along with an array of females. The near two-hour set was a fitting end to his European tour. Though he recently supported Ne-Yo on his arena tour, six years after entering the industry and showing much promise, Trey is a worthy headliner.
The UK Corner covers urban entertainment from a British perspective and is written by Fiona McKinson ©. She is a freelance journalist and creative writer based in London. Contact her at [email protected]