REVIEW: Chris Brown Lays Down His Moves At The Staples Center
Tyga, best known for his collab with cousin Travie McCoy on “Coconut Juice,” opened the show as the venue was still filling up.
Bow Wow has been off the radar since he sang “Like You” with Ciara back in the eighth grade. It’s no wonder he ditched the Lil in his name—this guy’s short.
His shirt came off about halfway through, and this reviewer couldn’t help wondering if he was of legal age to rhyme about strippers. Bow Wow even bet $1,000 that he was going to give the crowd something better than T-Pain… one of those inside jokes they use to get the audience to picture them all backstage laughing and throwing money and champagne around.
Usually one would think they were kidding, but you never know with these guys. Between disrespecting women and performing “Girlfriend,” I couldn’t really figure out what Bow Wow was trying to get across—a theme that rang true throughout the night.
T-Pain made it painfully obvious that he was performing without any help by calling out his “haters” at the set’s end and declaring he “did it all without autotune.”
Apparently he and Chris Brown really have something to prove on this tour. He can in fact carry a tune but his four backup dancers stole the show.
The two ladies provided visual aids for his many lyrics featuring the female backside and the guys did some gymnastic stunts, including a back flip in the opener.
T-Pain sounds a lot more intimidating than he looks; he performed his summer hit, “Best Love Song," and though he was backstage-- Mr. Brown did not come out to sing his part.
Then, T-Pain managed to confuse the audience when he whipped out a personal anecdote about a close friend he wanted to be his girlfriend. It was kind of awkward to listen to, and no one knew the song.
The energy of the second half of the set was high enough for him to taunt Bow Wow by reminding him that all he does is win, and therefore would need to collect that $1,000.
Chris Brown started his set in army-style wardrobe with a quick teaser number showcasing his talents as a dancer and performer. It was clear we were in for a show.
Less evident was whether he was lip-syncing or not. As soon as we got past the showy intro of “Wall to Wall,” he slowed it down for a crowd-pleasing reminder of “Excuse Me Miss,” and started to lay his charm on thick.
This was just the beginning of his sexually charged set, followed by “Leave the Club.” After a video was shown of him half-naked in the shower, texting a mystery lady to come over, he performed “Wet the Bed.”
A girl was brought on stage and seated on a lounger as he gave her a lap dance. It was more uncomfortable to watch than anything. He didn’t bother to say goodbye or thank her for participating, but continued on with “No Bullsh**” before a brief break.
He came back in a Lakers jacket, trying hard to win over his diverse LA audience, singing “She Ain’t You” before bringing Tyga back on for “Deuces.”
The energy onstage emanated throughout the arena and everyone was out of their seats. Keeping the steam rolling, he went into “Look at Me Now.”
Flashing back four years, he brought us back to his pre-scandal days with his heart-warming ballads “With You” and “No Air.”
Finishing strong, he closed with mega-hits “Yeah 3X” and “Forever” before a built-in encore of “Beautiful People,” complete with neon light-up dancers and a flight through the air.
Nobody left the Staples Center without being entertained Thursday. After all, Chris Brown can dance circles around even his backup dancers.
For all that has happened over the past few years, I’m not sure he needed to name his tour about f***ing all his enemies, but either way, we were all reminded of why he is who he is.
He can sing, dance, and charm his way out of anything. His ego makes him even more fun to watch and allows us to laugh at things like the video intro to his encore which asked us “Are you done?” and also, conveniently enough, answered for us with a “no.”
A sold-out Staples Center proved that we aren’t done with Chris Brown. Not yet.
Reach contributor Sarah Haugen here.
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