Keith Sweat @ B.B. King’s, 8/6/2010

Ridin’ Solo is R&B crooner Keith Sweat’s 10th album –and yes, he’s still begging. However at a crowded B.B. King’s last week, the singer-songwriter decided to revisit the classic hits that made ladies love him, and guys hate that their ladies loved him.

Hitting the stage nearly a half-hour late, Keith immediately hit the audience with up-tempo tracks “Something Just Ain’t Right” and “Don’t Stop the Love” from his debut album Make It Last Forever (1987); and twenty-some-odd years later, the songs can still bring a crowd of mostly ladies, and gents to their feet.

Having attended a slew of R&B shows at various venues over the years, I’ve got to admit though, B.B. Kings was the last place I thought I would see a red g-string flung to the stage in the middle of Keith performing “Get Up On It” –but at this point, the singer’s cream-colored blazer was off, sweat was pouring, energy was high; so he held them in the air, smiled and kept it moving to “Keep It Comin” from his 1991 album of the same name.

At times during various dance tracks, Keith’s hype man was a bit distracting jumping about the stage, screaming into the microphone…but I suppose that was the point, right?

Nonetheless, once Keith segued into “I’ll Give All My Love” (1990), he was in full-effect mode (read: romantic whining), hitting the falsetto and flirting with women in the audience mainly. Eventually he moved into “Make You Sweat,” but shortly thereafter we were surprised by a guest appearance from fellow crooner Joe, who’s featured on the lead single “Test Drive” from Ridin’ Solo. Looking dapper as ever with shades on and a drink in hand –if only for a few minutes, Joe’s smoothed-out vocals brought squeals from many ladies in the audience (present company included).

Overall the show was a delicious trip down memory lane with other classics such as “Make It Last Forever,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” a touching tribute to Gerald Levert on “My Body,” as well as other radio hits like “I Want Her,” and “Nobody,” even songs Keith penned for other groups and singers like “Freak Me” by Silk and “Just Got Paid” by Johnny Kemp.

Also, be sure to check out Keith Sweat’s Platinum House –a reality show featuring Dru Hill on the CENTRIC network.

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About ND McCray

ND McCray is a former Brooklynite, now Beijing-based writer, penning pieces on arts, culture and other stuff.
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