NEW YORK — Singing siblings K-Ci & JoJo stopped off in their “second hometown” Tuesday night at the Beacon Theatre, and the performance was everything fans have come to expect from the 10-year vets — soulful crooning, twice as many gyrations as singing riffs and K-Ci taking his clothes off.
The duo, dressed in burgundy and green, started their show with “Ooh Yeah.” Singing about all the “K-Ci & JoJo haters,” they came out and were greeted by women who left their seats to come to the front of the auditorium.
“I touched it!” screamed an overly enthused fan who reached up and copped a feel of JoJo’s family jewels while he sang “Last Night’s Letter.”
And while ladies stayed excited throughout the show, the heat was turned up during one of K-Ci’s solo portions of the set. Taking his shoes and shirt off, a bare-chested K-Ci began a fiery version of his remake of Bobby Womack’s “If You Think You’re Lonely Now.” He climbed to the top of one the 10-foot-plus-high speakers on the stage and shook his moneymaker for the swooning fans. Then he climbed down and went into the crowd, singing as he walked up the aisles.
“Lady, I wanna let you know/ I can’t be in two places at one time,” he sang as security guards tried to hold back the women attempting to grope him. K-Ci, the more flamboyant of the brothers, then motioned for people to get out their chairs and climbed into the first few rows, walking on the armrests of the chairs, dripping sweat on the audience while giving them an up-close and personal performance. He ended the song in dramatic fashion, making his way back onstage and lying on the floor.
“Y’all thought I was going to take off my pants, but I fooled y’all,” he joked as he stood up, referring to the lewd conduct and indecent exposures charges he was hit with after a December concert in Los Angeles (see “Police Hunt K-Ci For Allegedly Exposing Himself At Concert “ ).
“You’se a bad muthaf—er,” JoJo told his brother as he came back onstage. JoJo then sang Jodeci’s “Lately” before engaging his brother in a friendly battle for the crowd’s affection. JoJo went through a few minutes of scatting, while K-Ci was able to sneak in a few screams of “Yeaaaaaaahhhhhh!” The two even playfully tussled on the floor, with K-Ci teasing JoJo by taking his microphone.
K-Ci momentarily stopped the show to make an announcement. “This may be the last time you see K-Ci & JoJo perform together,” he said with a smile. “Jodeci! You know what I’m talking about.”
Judging from the crowd at the Beacon, the Jodeci reunion album is highly anticipated. K-Ci & JoJo’s medley of several Jodeci songs, including “Stay,” “Feenin’,” “Come & Talk to Me” and “Cry for You,” got the biggest response of the night.
“That’s’ what I’m talking about,” one of the women in the audience said. “Take me back to ’91 (the year Jodeci’s first album came out). That’s what I been waiting all night for.”
The night took a serious tone as the concert ended. Coming back into the crowd, K-Ci started a sermonlike testimonial, standing in the aisles he requested be cleared.
“I know you heard a lot of stuff about me,” he said. “Some good, some bad, but I don’t care about none of that sh–.”
He then stood on the armrest of an empty chair and took the crowd to church. “Have you ever been falsely accused?” he defiantly asked. “Have you ever been falsely accused, my brother? But I’m all right. I’m all right.”
“I grew up in a poor family,” he begin to sing, “and all we had was God.”
He then joined his brother onstage and went into a raucous extended version of “Life.” The Hailey brothers ended their almost 90-minute set when JoJo brought a preteen girl onstage and the two gave her a rose, serenading her with their song “All My Life.”
Earlier in the evening, Case opened the concert, and, ironically, exposed a bit of himself to the crowd. During his finale of “Touch Me Tease Me,” he unbuttoned his pants and gave the audience a peek at his underwear.
Jon B. was next, and he tried to get the crowd pumped up by enticing them with snippets of Shyne’s “Bad Boys” and Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s “Player’s Anthem” before he came out. Equipped with a DJ, Jon infused hip-hop into parts of his set, playing the keyboard while his record spinner played parts of rap songs like Biggie’s “Ten Crack Commandments.” Brooklyn rapper AZ joined the singer on “Layaway,” and a few couples began dancing in the aisles as Jon closed with his current single, “Don’t Talk.”
The K-Ci & JoJo Tour 2001 ends May 27.