When can we see you again?
IT was total madness at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre last Friday!
The venue was packed to the brim with so many beautiful and impeccably dressed ladies, who all looked as if they were auditioning for a Hollywood movie. Heck, they would have fit right into those reality TV shows where the women try to outdo each other with the sexiest dress or by having the most bling on.
The person they were all dressed up for is one of the most influential R&B singers, producers and songwriters of today’s generation – Kenneth Edmonds, or Babyface as he is better known.
The 51-year-old crooner was in town for his South-East Asian tour, with Malaysia as his first stop.
Ticket prices for the Babyface Live In KL Tour were not cheap – premium tickets were RM1,000 and regular ones went for around RM450. Yet KLCC reached its maximum capacity with a massive turnout of 3,000 people.
Although it was raining cats and dogs, nothing could have hampered the crowd’s strong desire to see Babyface live in concert.
Some of them even reached the venue an hour early, anticipating the time needed to go through the security checks.
That the show had been pushed back half-an-hour didn’t bother them either.
At 8.15pm, Najwa took centrestage to wow the crowd as the opening act even though the Plenary Hall was still quite empty due to the heavy rain and Friday traffic.
But she totally rocked the house with her soulful voice and performance. The crowd loved her songs but felt that 45 minutes was a bit too long to wait.
At 9.30pm sharp, the lights in the hall dimmed, followed by loud screams from the women in the house.
It was finally showtime, and the band, all dressed in Blues Brothers-esque black suits, thin ties and shades, banged out the intro – Crime.
The crowd started cheering and whistling so loud you could almost pass out from the racket. But that was just the beginning. Moments later, when the man himself came out on stage, the place went absolutely nuts!
The people in the back row started jumping up to catch a better view of the man who has been responsible for hits like Everytime I Close My Eyes, Every Little Step, Can We Talk and Don’t Be Cruel.
You could feel the love and appreciation his fans had for Babyface and his outstanding achievements. It was evident, too, that he was truly overwhelmed by this welcome.
Babyface was indeed born in love, as he kept repeating during the concert. It was clear that he was in love with making good music and in love with the feeling that he receives from his fans all over the world.
If you thought someone past 50 wouldn’t be able to bring the house down, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Babyface was awesome! He was hilarious and captivated the audience with his natural charm, witty jokes and funny stories between performing the large number of highly entertaining songs
His playlist was spot on as he progressed to a medley of all his greatest hits written for other artistes like Johnny Gill’s My My My, The Deele’s Two Occasions and After 7’s Ready Or Not.
Then came the songs everyone had been waiting for – I’ll Make Love To You and End of The Road.
By then, the whole crowd was on fire! Once again, they freaked out, with girls snapping pictures of him – that was quite funny because we had all been warned as we passed through the security line that cameras were not allowed inside the hall.
How they managed to sneak in the cameras is anyone’s guess, but flashes came from every corner of the hall.
While everyone was still high on his explosive performance, the screams slowly turned to sniffles and sobs when Babyface quieted the crowd down and spoke about Michael Jackson’s sudden death.
It was apparent that the two were good friends; he spoke of the musical genius that Jackson was and how wonderful and big-hearted the man was as a person before launching into a touching, brilliantly interpreted rendition of Jackson’s Gone Too Soon. It moved the audience to tears.
Babyface then thanked the audience for being such an amazing crowd before leaving the stage.
But we didn’t let him go so easily. Screaming at the top of our lungs, we demanded that he strut out and give us an encore.
After what seemed like forever, Babyface did come out and had everyone singing along with him to what appeared to be the crowd’s favourite song: When Can I See You Again.
Again, the crowd went bananas! Soon after he finished the song, the entire hall gave him a well-deserved standing ovation for a fantastic show.
Vocally and physically, he had given 110%. As had his band who were off the hook, especially the keyboardist.
If you ever get the chance to see Babyface live, do not ever pass it up.