Elle Varner, Miguel make fans swoon before the headlining act.
An overwhelming sentiment of desire billowed through the air Wednesday night (Dec. 5) at The Theater at Madison Square Garden for Trey Songz's "Chapter IV" World Tour featuring soulful newcomer Elle Varner and R&B amalgamator, Miguel.
Elle Varner, who dressed modestly in a white blazer and midnight tights with a red flower pinned into her natural curls, did her best to seduce the ears and eyes of a sparse crowd who'd more than likely fail at a pop quiz on her work. She poured her raspy soulfulness on "Perfectly Imperfect" favorites such as "I Don't Care," "Only Wanna Give It To You," and "Not Tonight." By the time Varner ended her set with "Refill," which included a beatbox breakdown and a heart-holding version of Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You," she had every head perked at full attention.
Miguel, garbed in a cherry-blow-pop-red dress shirt and gray slacks, arrived with such a memorable lesson in keen showmanship you'd almost forget he wasn't the headliner. Delivering "Kaleidoscope Dream," "Strawberry Amazing," "Use Me," "All I Want Is You," and "Lotus Flowerbomb" with mp3 sheen, Miguel let the ghost of James Brown light up his feet and the persona of Prince move in to his waist. During "Do You," the boy with the perfect bouffant hopped effortlessly from point A to point B like a frog testing out his lily pads all before churning a bit of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" into the mix. After Instagramming a pic of himself this week topless and flexing, it didn't come as a shocker that Miguel took off his shirt during a particularly lingering version of "Pussy Is Mine." And a spirited rendition of his most ubiquitous hit to date, "Adorn," lubed up the stage for you know whose grand entrance.
That would be Trey Songz. With a wall of thick, cream drapery behind him and a six-piece band, the man of the night donned a black leather jacket with gold studs. He began his foreplay with "Dive In," standing in the same spot for two verses, perhaps to take in the sights and sounds of women attempting to out-gush each other. Tremaine may not be a choreographer's ideal vessel, but his moving bravado along with innumerable sexual innuendos were enough to keep many five inch heels clacking on the venue seats, even amid the awkward interruption of a preview for "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D" which he has a role in.
But the cheap plug quickly fluttered into oblivion when Trey's salacious comfort zone kicked back in with medleys of his greatest bedroom burners like "Neighbors Know My Name," "Making Love Faces" and "Panty Wetter." Yet if there's something Trey enjoys more than singing about love and lusts complications it's rapping about them. For the last half hour of his eighty minute set, Trey kept his focus on the dance floor enlisting the help of a couple unsuspecting rappers including Atlanta newcomer, Trinidad James who performed his rising hit "All Gold Everything." Although Trinidad's presence may have confused many horny high-schoolers, they vibed along. Fabolous also showed face for "Say Aah" and Young Jeezy surprised many by running out for "Hail Mary." All this and Trey still kept his "I Love Soho" shirt on.
But after gladly taking over Nicki Minaj's verse on "Bottoms Up," the pecs came out to play for a few before bidding farewell for the night.