The 26-date gig was postponed last month after a judge ordered Brown to complete 1,000 hours of community service, a stipulation from his probation for his 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna. Legal worries dismissed, Breezy and Trey glided through their staggering collection of hits — a mix of FM magnets and bedroom tunes that had the venue singing along to every word.
In Kanye West and Jay Z‘s Watch the Throne tour fashion, Brown and Songz took turns on stage, but only after Songz opened the two-hour show after winning a coin toss. The sight of his cheek dimples was enough to send the ladies, who packed every corner of Barclays, into a shrieking frenzy. No wallflowers in attendance. Despite the single-digit weather, tweens with sparkly belly rings and women in high heels and miniskirts were bumping and grinding to each note Songz crooned.
Since his cornrow days, ladies have loved Songz. Last year, the suave singer made panties drop with his Trigga LP, which sold 105,000 copies its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marked his second Billboard No. 1 album, coming behind 2012’s Chapter V which sold 135,000. Songz ran through a soundtrack appropriate for the Fifty Shades of Grey film, with after-dark tracks like “I Invented Sex” and “Love Faces” and a sprinkle of chest-pounding love songs like “Can’t Be Friends.” Still, he kept the levels turned up by bringing out guest after guest, from labelmate Ty Dolla $ign for “Dead Wrong,” Ne-Yo for “She Knows,” Fabolous for the thirst-quenching “Say Ahh” and a special appearance from rising New Jersey rapper Fetty Wap to perform his own hit “Trap Queen.” Despite going shirtless and baring washboard abs for a steamy performance of “Na Na,” Songz continues to make bank from having his cake too.
Brown kicked off his set with the Diplo-produced dance track “X,” singing of love lost as he crumped across the stage in a purple camo windbreaker, a Billionaire Boys Club fitted hiding ombre blue hair, and skinny jeans. He leaned on dance sequences and nostalgia to hype the crowd, a formula that has worked since he serenaded fans with “Yo (Excuse Me Miss).” (Sadly, his first official single didn’t make the set list.) His 2014 X album topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, selling 145,000 copies. There was no talk of his standing with Drake (opening act Tyga let a line slip about how the rapper born Aubrey Graham “was never really my n—a”) or his on-and-off relationship with Karrueche. On stage, Breezy escapes the judgment and finds himself alongside talented legends like Michael Jackson and James Brown in whispers among concertgoers. Brown even brings his rhythm and gangsta, calling on Tyga — who is releasing collaborative album with Brown, Fan of a Fan, later this month — and G-Unit as his lone guests.
At halftime, the two singers break from their solo sets. They post up in red love seats on opposite ends of the stage to pull out their signature babymakers from their repertoires. Illuminated stage screens show two vixens in lingerie clinging to bedsheets, an accurate visual aid for this part of the show. Brown leads with “Take You Down” before Songz knocks out “Neighbors Know My Name.” “No Bullshit,” “Dive In” and the intro (that should’ve been a song) “Panty Droppa” heat up the venue.
After the ménage of deep album cuts, chart-toppers and a special rendition of their duet “Songs on 12 Play,” Brown saves his recent big hit for last: “Loyal.” The catchy Nic Nac-produced beat and hashtag-worthy hook for “Loyal” rings off as red and white confetti shower Barclays, leaving more to be desired.
Check out the full Between the Sheets set list below:
Part One: Trey Songz
“All We Do”
“Can’t Be Friends” with Ty Dolla $ign
“Paranoid” (Ty Dolla $ign)
“Can’t Help But Wait”
“I Invented Sex”
Part Two: Chris Brown
“Came To Do”
“Wall To Wall”
K Camp “Lil Bit” (Chris’ dance sequence)
“Look At Me Now”
“She Ain’t You”
“Lady In A Glass Dress”
Part Three: Chris Brown and Trey Songz
“Take You Down”
“Neighbors Know My Name”
“Don’t Judge Me”
“Songs on 12 Play”
Part Four: Trey Songz
“Say Aah” (with Fabolous)
“She Knows” (with Ne-Yo comes out)
“Trap Queen (Fetty Wap)
Part Five: Chris Brown
“What Up Gangsta” (with G-Unit)
“Many Men” (G-Unit)
“Ayo” (with Tyga)