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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Alicia Keys at MSG Gave Audience “Butterflyz”

    Living in New York City, it should come as no surprise that this town has given birth some formidable talent. You don’t need a brochure to find that out. What’s more, we live in arguably the Mecca for the arts and entertainment. So it was fitting – and let’s face it, obvious – that on June 18th, NYC-native singer Alicia Keys ended the North American leg of her As I Am Tour this past summer at Madison Square Garden. Here, you should scratch formidable with stunning, because with the help of artists Jordin Sparks, Ne-Yo, and even a few surprise guests, Ms. Keys turned the night into a spectacle and showed how stunning a talent she is for New York. I wish you were there. Jordin Sparks opened the evening, decked out with her Louboutins, performing a set including her hit “Tattoo,” rocking out a little to Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker,” and “No Air,” which, even without Chris Brown, really pumped the crowd up. Following her was a performance by Ne-Yo in what could probably be described as a little bit of musical theater. Nothing outlandish, though; It was all Boy Meets Girl, Boy Gets Girl, Boy Loses Girl. Still, it was a sight. Ne-Yo, or The Gentleman as he likes to call himself, was clad in some very clean tail-suits and surrounded by scantily clad dancers as performed “Closer,” damn near acted out “Mirror,” and crooned “Sexy Love.” Rapper Fabolous came on the stage to an uproar as the pair performed “You Make Me Better,” and Rihanna arrived in the nick of time to save The Gentleman from a broken heart and help him sing “Hate That I Love You.” With a few more showstoppers left in tow, Ne-Yo then ended his set with “Because of You.” So the stage was set for Alicia Keys to make her arrival. Starting off with an intro onscreen with Cedric the Entertainer, Ms. Keys arrived onstage, to much tumult, with a performance of “Ghetto Story.” The entire set never left the eyes wanting. Alternating between subdued and charged, Ms. Keys would often walk up the stage in true soul diva fashion, performing such titles as “Teenage Love Affair” and “You Don’t Know My Name.” Applause. Then, making her way to her piano, she would perch over her keys and play an interlude upside down. More applause. Then, she would calmly sit herself down, engage the crowd in the dialogue that was her performance, and play “How Come You Don’t Call Me?” Riotous applause. She would even vanish for times, allowing her back up, led by Jermaine Paul, to throw the crowd into a frenzy before she returned to perform again. She also made important mention of her non-profit Keep A Child Alive during her performance of “Butterflyz,” never letting the audience forget that her art is nothing if she cannot give back. The evening ended as she performed her now-classic “No One” and, with much flourish, “If I Ain’t Got You.” As she left the stage, I don’t think anyone was in their seats if they could help it. If you were a New Yorker or not, you saw something that night that was truly worthy of the “World’s Most Famous Arena.” Something unforgettable.

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