What better way to close out the week of Valentine's Day than with Xscape and K-Ci & JoJo singing your favorite love songs live? Since I adore the R&B vibes of the late 90s and early 2000s, the Ladies Night R&B Super Jam concert that went down at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Saturday (February 17) was a perfect fit.
With a line-up that consisted of the aforementioned singers plus Faith Evans, Tank, Mint Condition, Blackstreet, Bell Biv Devoe, and Bobby Brown to close out the show, not rain nor sleet was going to stop me, or any other concertgoer, from getting dressed up and stepping out. Still, the weather admittedly proved to be a challenge as heavy snow fell during my commute, so I gazed out the window of my Uber and hoped it wouldn't cause any attendance issues or delays. As luck would have it, it didn't.
10:00 p.m. | I pull up to the Barclays Center, hop out my ride, and glide through security. I head straight into the arena and am immediately surprised by the turnout. The place was packed, the energy was good, and the audience (including myself) was tangibly excited.
11:30 p.m. | I'd spent a few solid hours getting ready for the night by listening to old K-Ci and JoJo tracks. I needed my memory to be fresh and ready to sing every word, so when they hit the stage, I was prepared and they did not disappoint. From "All My Life" to "Crazy," the brothers' performances gave us exactly what we came for.
Samm Wilson // Sammwilsonphotography
K-CI & JOJO / BARCLAYS CENTER / LADIES NIGHT 2018
11:52 p.m. | After a quick DJ interlude, Bell Biv Devoe hit the stage and tossed a volt of energy back into the crowd. As expected, the room got hyped as the trio began to perform "Poison," but halfway through the first verse, sound troubles emerged. Damn.
#barclayscenter #thesecats #crowdpleasers at @adamtorresconcerts #adamtorresconcerts #presents #ladiesnight #randbsuperjam #valentines #weekend #alwaysagoodtime #hellofashow with #bellbivdevoe heading to the #stage @officialbellbivdevoe #michaelbivins #rickybell #ronniedevoe #boston #roxbury #mass #poison #dome #mcarecords #bbd #soultrainmusicawards #americanmusicawards and all that #feelgood type shit
12:07 a.m. | Sound issues resolved! Ricky, Mikey, and Ronnie returned to the stage to a cheering crowd and, ever the consummate performers, started their set over from the top. This time, without a hitch.
Samm Wilson // Samm Wilson photography
Bel Biv Devoe / Barclays Center / Ladies Night 2018
SAMM WILSON // Samm Wilson photography
Bel Biv devoe / Barclays Center / Ladies Night 2018
12:20 a.m. | The DJ announced Xscape to the stage and Tiny emerged first, followed by LaTocha, both dressed in white from head to toe. After a brief pause, third member Tamika rolled out onto the stage in a wheelchair. (Since the group reunited, I'd been following them closely; I knew fellow member Kandi wouldn't be performing due to her conflicting schedule on Broadway, so I was interested in seeing how the group's dynamic would be without her, but this injury was unexpected and only made me more curious.)
After explaining how she'd hurt her leg and why she needed assistance, Tamika continued the show gracefully. Xscape had the audience asking "Who Can I Run To?" before they changed into red outfits for the performance of their new single "Dream Killer."
Feeling myself in my favorite color at Barclays last night. Thx to everyone who came & who supports #Xscap3 & all 4 of us as well. Looking forward to new big things coming for us. Thank you to our team & our glam. My favorite makeup artist in NY @mspriscillanyc & @walamajik on the pony😬 & last but not least #NoIGJeremy u came all the way thru with this red look!! @racqnoir & @beeombi for designing them & @theivyshowroom for our fabulous furs! #Thankful #Blessed&HighlyFavored #Barclays #LadiesNight 🙏🏽👑🖤🗝
1:17 a.m. | After a quick bathroom break, I was back to my seat just in time for Bobby Brown. He wasted no time starting the show off with his all-time crowd favorite, "Don't Be Cruel." Unfortunately, by this time, a lot of the attendees had started to leave—not because of Bobby, but because of the time!—but his core fans stayed and continued to rock out with him.
Samm Wilson // Samm Wilson photography
BOBBIE BROWN / BARCLAYS CENTER / LADIES NIGHT 2018
1:45 a.m. | Brown closed out his set by both beautifully serenading his wife and wishing all the ladies in the house Happy Valentine's Day. Long stem roses, classic love songs, and a winter wonderland? I wouldn't have wanted to spend my holiday any other way.