NEW YORK — Trey Songz bowed his Love Faces Tour on Friday night with a steamy, sold-out show in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Lloyd, playing for the first time with a live band, warmed things up with an uptempo opening set. Whether you were cuffed up or on the prowl, it’s hard to imagine there was a better way to kick off a heart-racing Valentine’s Day weekend. Here, we re-live the evening’s six sexiest moments.
Trey Twirls A Tender ’Roni’
Back in 1989, Virginia-born Tremaine Neverson was a 5-year-old army brat, still years from ascending the Billboard charts under the nom de stage Trey Songz. Instead, another crooner known for flashing his granite-hard abs was ruling the airwaves: Bobby Brown.
The ex-New Edition singer dropped the now-vintage video for “Roni” that year and it featured live-show footage of Brown — shirtless in silky “Hammer” pants and a heavy gold chain — going waist-to-gyrating-waist with a swooning concertgoer. (“I guess this is why I got arrested, hunh?” he jokes to the audience.)
On Friday, a woman named Simone became the envy of about 5,000 panting women as Songz, channeling the onetime King of R&B, pulled her from the crowd for an onstage dance to “Love Faces.” He removed her coat. He caressed her. His lips brushed her neck. Hearts exploded.
Lloyd Lays it Down
“New York is the most magic city in the world, and ain’t no girl like a New York girl,” Lloyd told the crowd before launching into his smash “Lay It Down,” the lead single from his March 22 LP, King of Hearts. The Polow Da Don-produced track may be one of the most flawlessly crafted pieces of bedroom music to be committed to MP3.
Just hours before Friday’s show, MTV News asked Lloyd about the ecstatic, yodel-like vocal ad libs that form the song’s collision. The Atlanta-based crooner joked that he’d tapped his inner Scotsman and recorded that section while wearing a kilt. Whether Scottish, Swiss, Alps or ATL in origin, the vocal trick sent his lady fans (already on their feet and singing every lyric) into fits.
Trey Covers ’90s Boy Band Burners
Yes, fans were there to here Songz deliver catalog hits like “I Invented Sex” and “Neighbors Know My Name,” but his covers of Boyz II Men’s saccharine “I’ll Make Love to You” and Jodeci’s syrupy “Freek’N You” should be show staples.
Hometown MC Cameos
One of the perks of catching concerts at the World’s Most Famous Arena is that artists who make their nests in one of New York’s five boroughs occasionally pop up for surprise cameos. The inaugural show on the Love Faces mini-jaunt didn’t disappoint as Lloyd Banks joined Lloyd mid-set and Fabolous hit the stage for the homey Trey Songz.
The G-Unit soldier trotted out his bouncy, Lloyd-featuring “Any Girl” before the New Orleans crooner fell back to play hype man as Banks ignited the crowd with the still-blazing “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley.” Loso, in a complementary smoking jacket (“I see your swag is right,” Trey smiled when the Brooklyn MC emerged onstage), ripped his “Say Aah” verse in a boozy knockout that was preceded by a thunderous rendition of “Bottoms Up.”
For the second half of his show, the man with the velvety vibrato donned a dark, velvet smoking jacket, after opening up in a white ensemble that recalled Sinatra in his heyday. Simply put, Trey Songz knows how to suit up. (They don’t call him “Mr. Steal Your Girl” for nothing.)
Make ’Em Sweat
Any girl who’s been on the receiving end of a stale Whitman’s Sampler or a wilted delicatessen bouquet knows that real romance is about the details. And Trey Songz, the performer, has honed his eye for detail. “There’s so much love right now everywhere I go,” he told MTV News during an interview a day before the show. If it comes across at times that he’s calculated the best moment to dab the perspiration from his forehead with a towel before tossing it into a squealing crowd, it’s no less effective. And when he asks for the house lights to be turned up so he can shout out a few beaming fans individually. (“I see you baby in the pink T-shirt”), the cost of admission seems priceless.