RnB Down Under: Australia's appetite for RnB music evident

The international perception of Australia carrying a multitude of RnB lovers isn’t exactly an immediate stereotypical observation. Don’t be deceived. Following the back-to-back sold out RnB festivals across Australia; the appetite for the RnB genre down under is evident.
Recently, thousands of sunshine state Queenslanders packed out the Brisbane show grounds turning up in showers to see 12 hit RnB artists perform. Premium ticket holders were in no more privilege to carry brollies due to security regulations. Instead, despite the rain, the mass of fans sported a rainbow of coloured poncho’s across the show grounds, whilst many stuck out the stroppy wet weather in drenched clothes.
No bags, no brollies, and no re-entry. Disappointments came from a few who briefly exited the concert grounds only to discover on their return they would not regain entry. According to the Australian Government information security management protocol, security took the necessary precautions to satisfy the mandatory requirements. Following the Ariana Grande tragic concert blast in Manchester and more recent Route 99 shootings in Las Vegas, event security across Australian has strictly increased for the safety of citizens and fans.
Despite substantial rain, in good spirits, the show prevailed with the crowd remaining at capacity for almost up to seven hours long.
Hit 105’s radio host said “Brisbane, you guys are heroes for coming in the rain and have been the biggest crowd yet” Brisbane resilient RnB fans spoke volumes “-Showing the worlds biggest RnB acts how we party.”
DJ Horizon performed his first set, followed by show host Fatman Scoop joining him in a clear poncho. Fatman announced, “If you’re in the rain, I’m in the rain. If you’re getting wet, I’m getting wet” and paraded down to the pits rain bound into the crowd. Scoop then performed his 1999 chart topping track, Be Faithful (Put Your Hands Up) whilst in the packed crowd accompanied by a single security staff member, surrounded by fans that sung along into the microphone.

RnB duo Ruff Endz were the first group to perform. They sung their hits Cash, Money, Cars, Clothes, Someone and No more, “in the rain, really! We love you guys.” David and Dante reunited after over a decade-long hiatus in 2016, shortly after the 2015 unrest in Balitmore. Ruff Endz released their single Time 4 Change after reuniting, a track aimed at the historical uprising in their home town, and continued powering through the RnB scene of our decade.
Secondly, RnB soul mama Monifah made an introduction with an instrumental slow jam setting the mood under the weather [a cosy hot chocolate and duvet would have done nicely with that track]. Monifah’s voice carried sweet yet powerful tones in her track I Miss You (Come Back Home) before shouting “Brisbane, we don’t care about the rain!”. She then sung a rendition of Santana’s Maria Maria and then Touch it for her ‘Nasty Girls’ defining the term as ‘brilliant, strong and courageous women’.
By 4.15, Cuban-American sweet heart Christina Milan was ready to rock From AM to PM, encouraging all hands to go in the air right across the grounds. Wearing latex look stiletto boots, a jeans jacket and hoops amid her dancers, she also sung Say I, When you look at me, Dip it low and more. It was a memento mix of the numerous catchy tracks she’d delivered over the years.
Up next was Let me love you singer Mario, collaborating with Australian rappers Bliss & Eso, whom surprised fans by appearing on stage to perform their track Believe along with the American superstar. Mario didn’t disappoint demonstrating his smooth vocal and dance maneuvers. Close to the end of Let me love you, he grabbed a bouqet of roses, and began casting them one by one into the front row to his screaming fans. Mario commanded “Rain you need to stop. It’s all love”. By this time the raid subsided, only to pick up slightly again before the end of his set.
The En Vogue were on fire both visually and vocally. Post 25 years since the groups formation they were the highlight of the night given their harmonious smashing performance. Their outfits were fierce, dressed in all red, with blasts of fire coming from the front stage. They performed the groups hits Hold On, Whatta Man, Free Your Mind and Don’t Let Go and more. The En Vougue current members Terry, Cindy and Rhona, called the crowd “real troopers for standing in the rain” and “We love you for that”. They also announced they would be releasing a new album next year.
Thereafter, Kelis took to the stage. The Milkshake singer and chef, wore a matching set with purple printed onions and white boots, swaggering to her strongest tracks one after another achieving an ecstatic reaction of appreciation from the audience for the existence of her signature songs. Remarkably, Kelis covered her version of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana before closing. Kelis released a cookbook called My Life on a Plate along with her album titled “Food” as well a line of jerk and BBQ sauces. A foodie and musie, the talented Kelis celebrates the best of both worlds.
Kelly Rowland gave an astounding caliber of a performance and confirmed the level of a quality superstar she is. Rowland invited her fellow ‘Voice’ co judge ‘Delta Goodrem’ for steamy dance from two of her back up dancers. Kelly ended her set pausing in moment of gratitude and love with her hands stretched wide over a voiceover reading out “love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy, love does not boast, God is love”. Kelly is working on a fifth solo album that she anticipates will be out by next year.
Ironically, the sun was shining bright on the following day at the Virgin Supercars Race attended by the previous night’s performer Kelly Rowland along with fellow (The Australian Voice) Judge Delta Goodrem, where Virgin Cabin Crew Charis Dewald performed the National Anthem live on Channel 10.
In 10th line was Ne-Yo. He began with parallel RnB ballad’s So Sick, She Knows, Miss Independent, All because Of You, Sexy Love and Best I ever had gently easing into into his up-tempo club hits such as Closer and Give me Everything featuring PitBull. Two lucky fans were picked out of the crowd to dance to a track from his new album, Push Back. The two ladies engaged in a short dance competition before being given some kind words as they shakily made their way back into the crowd. His full live band and presentation were truly compelling and he remains one of the highest quality entertainers of the day.
Second to last, but not least, the UK now DJ and singer Craig David performed and energetic and breathtaking performance. He upheld his ability to sing at a prompt pace without missing a note as well as mastering the music. He’s had a great comeback since re-inventing himself as a DJ and singer with TS5 and his talent is still one of a kind. The most compelling words Craig David expressed throughout his set was his appreciation for all the support over the years. On this tour, his 17 year long manager flew out from London to support his shows. It’s a wonderful industry story and comeback for Craig David we wish him all the best of success with his “Time Is Now” album to be released on 26 January 2018.
And finally, it was Sean Paul’s time to seize the moment. It was the last act of the night and finally dry skies. People must have been tired after 6hr + in rain and cold and you’d assume they’d be ready to head home bound! Not so. As soon as the dancehall beats kicked off the crowd went wild. The show was clearly not over until Sean Paul’s set was. The night rounded up with the Dutty Jamaican’s blasts from the past, present and snippets of future releases.
The hype for next years RnB Festival remains, and that anticipation contains a sense of expectation for a literal brighter day.
What city do you vote the most dedicated RnB fans?. If you were at RnB Fridays live, click here and comment on you’re favorite performance and why?
Join next year’s RnB Fridays event with TLC. More announcements to follow at More info for other related events in your city can be found on https://www.hdjmusic.com/events/