True R&B Lives On: Artists Bring Down The House At Philips Arena


As a cold front set in on the city of Atlanta, many fans of the 90s era of r&b descended into Philips Arena. On the night of October 28th, you couldn’t have told anyone in that building that r&b was a fading genre in today’s music climate. In fact, the size of the crowd at this event only showed just how relevant and how much of an impact the genre can really have.

The show was hosted by comedian, Damon Williams, who is absolutely hilarious. His comedy is not for the faint of heart or the prude but judging by the laughter; the audience for the R&B SuperJam certainly did not have anything to complain about. Everyone from fans to media, security and administrative staff could be seen laughing.

After warming up the crowd, Damon introduced the first act of the night; Total.

Noticeably absent from the once trio, was group member Keisha. With this absence, it left you with the feeling of missing something or like it was incomplete. Verses in some fan favorites had to be skipped because of obvious reasons and although some parts left a lot to be desired; their tribute to Notorious BIG was welcomed.

Both Kima and Pam had incredible energy on the stage and held it down. The show was good but I felt like I was listening to 45-second clips of songs in a DJ mix during rush hour traffic. However, you will have to experience their show yourself to see if you feel the same as I do.

Donell Jones opened up his show with his single “Forever” followed by a few crowd favorites; including a performance of “U Know What’s Up” that was dedicated to the late Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes. Other songs performed include “Knocks Me Off My Feet” and “Shorty Got Her Eyes On Me“. The cheers from the crowd only increased when the sound of the track “Where I Wanna Be” began to bellow through the arena speakers. Sitting there, you forget that these songs debuted 15+ years ago; especially when you have thousands of people in the building singing along word for word.

From the moment he touched the stage until the time he left it; Joe had the crowd on their feet.

He began his set with his hit “Stutter“, setting the tone early on and maintaining the momentum with “Don’t Wanna Be A Player“, “All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do)“, “What If A Woman“, and more. No matter where I am in the world, if I ever get word that Joe is nearby about to do a concert; I am there no questions asked. Arguably one of the best male r&b/soul singers from that era.

Miss Thang bka Monica came out to a slew of hometown love. During her set, she takes you through a timeline and tells a story. While some may feel it is too much talking, I appreciate how interactive the approach can be. It not only takes you to the space that the artist was in at that time but it takes you back to where or what you were doing when the song came out.

Performing songs such as “U Should’ve Known Better“, “Love All Over Me“, “Sideline Ho“, and “So Gone“; just to name a few. The crowd was on their feet her entire performance and rightfully so; she is an amazing performer. She even brought out hubby, briefly, to show him some love.

Although I’m sure that many have heard what occurred during his set at the R&B SuperJam via various blogs; we like to keep news focused on the shows/music. With that being said, Tyrese took to the stage with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder about his allotted amount of time. Apparently, he was being rushed so he had to cut his set shorter than expected. While the crowd enjoyed the songs he did perform, like “Stay“, “Sweet Lady“, “How You Gonna Act Like That” and “Signs of Love Makin“; many felt like he was a bit rude. He treated the sound staff as if they were unprofessional and incompetent when in fact it was the opposite. Many different factors leave me wondering if I ever want to sit through another show of his, but, we all have off days. I may be willing to give it another shot.

Overall the R&B SuperJam was an amazing show, it was an amazing night and they should definitely bring it back; especially for Valentine’s Day. If any of the above artists are coming to a city near you, make sure that you check them out. Also, check out picture highlights below.

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