Ne-Yo: Hammersmith Apollo 17/02/10
The Playboy DJs warmed up the crowd until Ne-Yo made an exciting explosive entrance on to the stage, wearing his trademark suit with hat. Ne-Yo’s wardrobe, much like previous performances, was his trademark hat with a smart suit combo of contrasting black trousers with a white jacket, or a black shirt and white tie - white braces combo.
This perfect gentleman, engaged the audience at almost all chances. Not once did it seem scripted, even attempting an English cockney accent “Leave my Girlfriend alone!” In a drawn out, but light hearted Valentine themed intro to 'Sexy Love'. He sought out couples in the audience - celebrated a lesbian couples’ union, and handed out relationship advice to others. He was clearly enjoying himself, at one point running along the aisles – one lucky girl even got a hug! He then proceeded to introduce his band, who themselves contributed to the buzzing atmosphere with their own distinguished interlude.
Ne-Yo's performance, with his stunning dancers, was well choreographed - sexy, stripping off for 'Mirror'. Energetic and entertaining for 'Miss Independent'. Even pretending to be drunk in 'Fade Into The Background' – the audience loved them all! As well as superb performances of tracks from three albums, he sang a medley of his work for other/with other artists: Rihanna (Take A Bow), Jennifer Hudson (Spotlight), Beyonce (Irreplaceable), Mario (Let Me Love you) and Keri Hilson (Knock you Down) directing the audience to sing along, to which they happily obliged.
Keen not to make the evening just about the ladies, by handing out a few roses to the lucky few. Ne-Yo proceeded to showcase the first artist signed to his label - Jadyn Maria, who might I add, looks like Katy Perry and sounds like Lady Gaga!? Her appearance was somewhat unexpected to the audience who seemed unsure of the first song. But all was forgiven by her second performance, with a strong powerful voice and her mentor by her side - the atmosphere was buzzing.
Ne-Yo confessed to the audience that his work was massively inspired by the late Michael Jackson. A fact which was evident throughout the show as the dance moves and black leather glove worn in homage to his hero, on his left hand, would confirm. The final song 'Closer' saw our hero adorned with a sparkly dinner jacket and sparkly shoes - lowered with his trademark, hat tilted on the front of his head, underneath the stage leaving a screaming crowd on a huge high.
Photos care of B&S' Romain Kedochim - More visit ROMAIN PHOTOGRAPHY
Words CHERYL LEE