What a difference a year makes. Chris Brown performed at Meydan in Dubai on Tuesday night and he was a totally different artist from the one who played here last year.
Yes, it was a school night, but you wouldn’t have known it from the crowd that packed the outdoor venue and after party.
Brown’s show was tighter than his last performance in the emirate, with better production values and the US R&B star also seemed more mature in a highly sexual show.
Opening his concert with the top ten hit Beautiful People, he segued into the David Guetta  hit with Lil Wayne I Can Only Imagine and then Forever, which drove the crowd crazy.
Coming out in black skinny jeans and a white T-shirt with his cap backwards and sporting designer stubble, Brown made good use of his LCD lights-sporting dancers without having them overshadow him, concentrating on his singing. He showcased his immense dancing skills, never more apparent than when he channelled Michael Jackson on She Ain’t You, which samples the King of Pop’s Human Nature. With his great moves, he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.
His song with DJ Khaled, Take it to the Head, with the lyrics “no excuses, no apologies” encapsulated this concert as Brown was unapologetically sexual wearing a black wife beater (excuse the pun), exuding pure sex on Take You Down and Biggest Fan.
Brown’s are-they-aren’t-they ex/girlfriend/friends with benefits, Rihanna, with whom he was spotted in Paris over the weekend, made a musical appearance in the opening DJ’s set, making many hope (in vain) she’d pop on stage to surprise us. Karrueche Tran, Brown’s stylist and another ex/someone he’s got something on with, who he was also pictured with in the City of Love this weekend, might or might not have been in Dubai. Not that it mattered, for Brown was the poster boy for bachelorhood. And if he isn’t single, despite all his negative press, it didn’t seem like anyone in the audience would mind sharing him.
He successfully moved between an old school R&B vibe on his ballads such as Say Goodbye and Forever and more dance-inspired songs such as All Back, taking the crowd with him all the way.
Billed as a ladies night, the women screamed their appreciation when Brown appeared topless singing his heart out to No Bulls**t, singing with a sincerity that spoke to everyone in the audience individually.
He showed off more dance moves on I Can Transform Ya and attitude on Look at Me Now, rapping more convincingly than on the album F.A.M.E.
Yeah 3x had the crowd screaming much more than three times. With this performance Brown has more than made up for last year’s lacklustre show.
By Eduan Maggo