NEW YORK — [artist id=”1961441″]Chris Brown[/artist] seemed a little contained Tuesday night at the Nokia Theatre stop of his Fan Appreciation Tour. Though he put on a clinic of showmanship, it was nothing like the huge, explosive shows to which he’s grown accustomed. (And nothing like the explosion caused by his decision earlier this week to delete his Twitter account .)
While some critics say it was too soon after Brown’s assault on Rihanna to put an album, let alone tour , the singer still has a sizeable fanbase that spans from grown grandma-age women to little children. Regardless of the size of the venue, Brown still had a sold-out concert in the world’s largest media market.
Brown started his show with his single “I Can Transform Ya” and proved that he is still holding the dance crown (at least for male entertainers — OK, Beyoncé fans?). His moves seemed so natural, the only proof that they were rehearsed was that the backup dancers were doing the same steps.
New York fan favorite — especially with the younger crowd — Juelz Santana came out for his Brown-assisted tune “Back to the Crib,” as the song’s producer, Polow Da Don, looked on from the soundboard area. Singer Esther Dean came out shortly after for her song with Chris, “Drop It Low.”
Breezy slowed down the pace for “Yo,” where the females in the audience sang along just about word for word. Brown playfully tossed his hat up in the air, teasing the crowd before he threw it out to the audience.
After “Take You Down,” Brown left to change his T-shirt, came back and let his DJ play records while the crowd sang along. When Young Money’s “Every Girl” came on, it was a little unsettling to see some of the younger kids at the show sing, “I wish I could f— every girl in the world.” Even Brown noticed.
“I said, sing the clean version, bunch of freak nasties!” he said. Chris later did a playful impression of R. Kelly singing “Bump N’ Grind.”
He got serious during a tribute to Michael Jackson featuring “Rock With You” and then “Billie Jean.” The standout in that section of the show was Brown and his dancers doing “Thriller.” The greatest video of all-time played on a huge screen while Brown and company performed the dance lock-step in sync with Jackson and his zombies.
Toward the end of the show, Brown thanked his fans, serenading them with slow jams “With You” and his current “Crawl.” Answering Brown’s call for help with the song, the ladies sang Jordin Sparks’ part on “No Air.” The closer was “Forever,” where once again Chris pulled out some fresh steps from his dance arsenal.