Chris Brown & Lil Baby take over the Rock in Newark

676
Chris Brown wearing all red on stage
Chris Brown: One of Them Ones Tour at the Pru Center

The sold-out show was really two concerts in one night

Lil Baby wearing a white t-shirt and singing into a microphone
Lil Baby: One of Them Ones Tour at the Prudential Center

Chris Brown is one of the best-selling artists in the world, with over 197 million records sold, and is one of the highest-grossing African American artists of all time. Moreover, Brown has acquired 20 Grammy® nominations thus far and has the most Billboard Hot 100 entries of any male singer in history. These are some incredible accomplishments, especially as Brown is only 33-years-old.

Likewise, 26-year-old Lil Baby has sold over 7.5 million records, has accrued four platinum albums and eight Grammy® nominations, and was named the biggest all-genre Artist of the Year at the Apple Music Awards 2020.   

What makes Chris Brown such a superstar, though? His ability to draw other stars, such as Lil Baby, on tour as a co-headliner. Chris Brown and Lil Baby brought their One of Them Ones Tour to Newark, where they lit up the city for a night filled with hits, pyrotechnics, and thousands of fans. The sold-out show was essentially two concerts in one night as Chris Brown and Lil Baby each performed 70-minute sets. Although the two collaborated on several songs throughout the show, Lil Baby primarily performed during the first half of the night, while Chris Brown primarily performed during the second half of the night. 

As Lil Baby arose from under the stage, he instantly had fans cemented to their seats and chanting lyrics throughout his entire set to “Baby,” “Drip Too Hard,” and “Quality Control.” From his rapping skills to background performers to the stunning effects, Lil Baby knows how to command the stage and crowd alike. Moreover, he repeatedly showed appreciation to his fans, who appeared just as devoted as Chris Brown fans, if not more. 

Chris Brown came down from the ceiling onto the stage in front of a backdrop that featured multiple Chris Browns being digitally lowered in sync alongside a dozen dancers, making way for an incredible performance of “Forbidden.” This was just the first of many performances highlighted by astounding visual effects, impeccable choreography, and stellar vocals. Despite the controversy which has plagued his career, it always comes down to the music, and Chris Brown excels as an artist who can resonate with his audience. This was certainly made evident during hits a la “Liquor” and “Back to Sleep.” 

The setlist was almost fine-tuned for new fans. Brown performed a surprising amount of fresh material from his new album, Breezy, almost to his detriment. It was evident some fans were hoping to hear more of the dozens of hits he has amassed. Hopefully, the next tour touches upon more of his impressive catalog. Brown made sure to give homage to fan favorites during the Fan Choice segment, where he allowed the audience to choose between three songs of their liking for him to perform at random. This process was repeated to thunderous applause every time. This is easily the highlight of the show as the audience picks in each city tend to be very different. In Newark, tracks like “She Ain’t You,” “Poppin’,” and “No Air” won favor. The audience seemed to carry the songs just as much as Brown during this segment. 

Unfortunately, today many artists perform a consistent setlist during every tour stop and never seem to mix up the tracks, much less take requests. Chris Brown, however, is a passionate performer who turned his set into an R&B dance party, busting moves left and right, and appeared to enjoy performing what his fans wanted to hear most. Brown ends the show on a powerful note with energetic anthems “Ayo,” “Loyal,” and “No Guidance.” Lil Baby comes out and joins Brown for “Addicted” before he closes out the show with “Go Crazy.”

One of Them Ones is a reminder of how influential Chris Brown’s music has been for many years. From his sexy looks, amazing vocals, perfect choreography, and alluring visuals, Brown effortlessly outshines any new R&B male artist today and leaves you wanting more. 

Watch Chris Brown perform “She Ain’t You” and see a playlist of full performances from the One of Them Ones tour here.