Best Buy Theater
Tuesday, October 5
Secret, invite-only hip-hop shows don’t exist, even if we went to one last night. Then again, with a lineup of Drake, Trey Songz, and Pitbull, we couldn’t be too surprised at the line of hopeful teenagers wrapped around Best Buy Theater. The three stars were on hand to celebrate the launch of SoKodak, a new Internet-savvy camera, which means this invite-only crowd consisted of suited industry guys, brand representatives, and a handful of young, dolled-up contest-winners screaming at the foot of the stage. Time to get awkward.
“There’s something special about the face you make when you’re making love,” Trey Songz announced as he shrugged off his leather jacket at the onset of “Love Faces.” A group of young girls began to shriek as he tilted his mic stand in their direction. “I want you to imagine what kind of faces I’d be making, if we were making love.” As I cringed, the older Australian women next to me (both slinging “Kodak VIP” lanyards) gave a resounding yell of approval. While I might have been the only one to note the creepy divide, this is where the crooner truly excels: when he’s wooing the ladies. During his quick set, he sauntered across the stage during “Can’t Be Friends,” jammed with his band during “Say Aah,” and encouraged the gawky, seated members of the audience to dance in their chairs to “Bottoms Up.” After a quick co-sign of the cameras — specifically, he advocated using them in the bedroom, the bathroom, and while “getting dirty” — he was gone.
By now, the open-bar was starting to set in. A handful of celebrities sections — Keri Hilson, Gayle King, DJ Khaled — were ushered in, while the paparazzi tried to spot others. “Yo, Dipset is here,” whispered one media-badge-holder to another who reached for his SLR. (It was Vado, and no picture was taken.) On the stage, Hot 97’s DJ Enuff took photos of the audience while dodging propositions from the females up front. Apparently, 15 minutes of Trey Songz is enough to make you lose all inhibition.
Then there was Drake. Trying not to make fun of Drake is hard. Live, it’s even harder. The superstar, clad in a pair of baggy jeans and a nondescript black t-shirt, took the stage with as much swagger as a college freshman. There was the obvious “Free Weezy!” tirade before “9 A.M. in Dallas”, and the softly spoken innuendo before “Show Me a Good Time,” but for some reason, it just doesn’t resonate the way it should. His stage presence peaked during a vaguely flamboyant (wrist-flips and all) rendition of “Fancy,” and even then, the girls with their hair and nails did pulled it off with more style. At the very least, the man could use some stage-coaching from his opening act.