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Live Photos + Review: Friday Jams with Kelis, Sean Paul, Craig David  + More

Live Photos + Review: Friday Jams with Kelis, Sean Paul, Craig David + More

Fluffy / Monday 23rd October, 2017 3:29PM

Auckland's Spark Arena was abuzz with excited punters on Sunday evening as late 90s / early 00s superstars Sean Paul, Kelis, Ne-Yo, Mario and Craig David graced us with their presence for Friday Jams. The young crowd were chomping at the bit to relive a time when hip hop and R’n’B had invaded the mainstream consciousness and melded seamlessly with pop music.

The warm-up DJs played familiar artists such as Ill Baz and were on point vibe-wise, with enjoyable spins of Scribe and similarly nostalgic tunes.

Ne-Yo incited Beatlemania levels of appreciation from female fans, with his snappy stage attire and smooth yet confident command of the crowd. Two fans were lucky enough to be invited on stage to prove their boogieing skills. Hearts were broken and lovingly melded back together when his smash hit ‘Another Love Song’ echoed throughout the arena.

Kelis whirlwinded through rapid fire renditions of 'Bossy', 'Millionaire' and 'Baby I Got Your Money', which was fair, since the majority of those tracks were duets between herself and other wonderfully charismatic artists. Though it would be cruel to have anyone attempting to step into shoes as large as Andre 3000 and Old Dirty Bastard, the stripped down versions of those tunes were a little less satisfying than I had hoped. Nonetheless, the party was brought and boy was it well-received.

A familiar pattern seemed to emerge throughout the show; each artist would open up with their strongest, best-known material. I wondered if this was an attempt to direct attention to the more obscure reaches of their various catalogs.

The evening’s host Fatman Scoop only hit the stage for a handful of moments, though when he did his voice boomed throughout the Arena, with his antics kicking up the fun an extra notch. Classic bangers ‘Put Your Hands Up’ and ‘Be Faithful’ went off like bottle rockets and he scored extra points for hilarious merch; a shirt with the words ‘Whatever I say, y’all gotta do, buy this shirt’ was emblazoned around Scoop’s grinning face. Sadly, t-shirts were the only merchandise available at the show and my dreams of owning a Kelis bottle opener remain unrealised.

Craig David opened with his iconic track ‘Re-Rewind’, making good use of his wireless microphone while traversing the stage. It was as if he was a minister holding a sermon of groove and it was plain to see that David was swathed in experience, he made crowd-rocking look effortless with his casual, seemingly off-the-cuff banter.

Sean Paul entered the stage to a keytar solo over rocking dancehall rhythm, accompanied by dancers and a hypeman. Classic tunes such as ‘Like Glue’ and Rockabye’ went off as the pit heaved with enthusiasm. Mr Paul seemed to be the most skillful in playing a long game as he closed the set with an excellently received rendition of ‘Temperature’. With that, the captivated audience dispersed into the evening, flooded with endorphins, to enjoy what remained of their long weekend.

Check out Ngamihi Pawa's shots of Friday Jams below...

Sean Paul
Sean Paul
Sean Paul
Sean Paul
Sean Paul
Sean Paul

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