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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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    A Memorable Conclusion to Keys’s “As I Am” Tour

    It should come as no surprise that New York City is the home of some of popular music’s formidable talent. You don’t need a brochure to find that out. What’s more, we live in arguably a Mecca for the arts and entertainment. So it was fitting, and relatively obvious, that on June 18, New York native singer Alicia Keys ended the North American leg of her “As I Am” tour this past summer at Madison Square Garden.

    From formidable to stunning, and with the help of artists Jordin Sparks, Ne-Yo, and even a few surprise guests, Ms. Keys turned the night into a spectacle, showing how stunning a talent she is for New York.

    Jordin Sparks opened the evening, decking 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.

    Followng her was a performance by Ne-Yo in what could probably be described as a little bit of musical theater. Nothing outlandish- 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 tailcoat suits and surrounded by scantily clad dancers as he performed “Closer”, nearly acted out “Mirror”, and crooned “Sexy Love”.

    Rapper, Fabolous, came on 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 show-stoppers 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 introduction on-screen with Cedric the Entertainer, Ms. Keys made her appearance to much excitement, with a performance of “Ghetto Story”.

    The entire set never left the eyes wanting. Alternating between subdued and charged, Ms. Keys often walked up the stage in true soul diva fashion, performing such titles as “Teenage Love Affair” and “You Don’t Know My Name”. Then, making her way to her piano, she would perch over her keys and play an interlude upside down. Afterwards, she engaged the crowd in the dialog that was her performance, and play “How Come You Don’t Call Me?” to riotous applause.

    Ms. Keys would even vanish at times, allowing her backup cast, 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 is 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 do not 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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