R Kelly Got His Crotch Grabbed 26 Times and Performed 50 Songs At The Fox Theatre
In fairness to the above title, two of those instances of fondling were perpetrated by his own hand. The other 24 gropes were extensions of the intense fandom R. Kelly inspires, an adoration that bordered on worship from the rafter-stacked patrons of the Fox Theatre. He earned every display of affection with a 90 minute set proving that R. Kelly is as talented, entertaining, and completely batshit crazy as his reputation suggests. Or, as Kelly put it, "Tonight there's gonna be some shit that's just me doing me."
Todd Owyoung. Full Slideshow: R. Kelly at the Fox
Curtain drops, R. Kelly appears in silhouette form behind a thin white sheet. He performs "Huff And Puff." Sheet falls, and Kelly is donning a white leather jacket with "SINGLE" bedazzled in gold jewels down his left sleeve and "V.I.ME" written on the back in the same fashion. We discover these jewels are actually miniature LED lights a few songs later -- or, rather, sections of songs since the majority of his set played like a montage of his hits in 10 to 60 second clips.
R. Kelly takes every opportunity to shout out the single ladies and to demand the crowd make some noise. In his trademark "Trapped In The Closet" delivery, he sing-speaks into his sparkling white wireless microphone, "I'm gonna stop this show unless I know it's all real R. Kelly fans up in this motherfucker."
R. Kelly meanders around the stage asking in this same "Trapped" style, "Can I get a towel to wipe my face -- 'cause that's what we motherfuckin' do." Then, "Can somebody out there wipe my face?" as he kneels to the standing fans crowded around the stage. Two women grab the towel and start to fight over it before Kelly sings, slightly higher pitched and more aggressive, "Will some other bitch just wipe my goddamn face?"
R. Kelly asks for a single lady out there to tell him what she'd want to do to him. A woman leans on stage and whispers something, to which he replies, "Are you serious, girl? I've never even heard of shit like that. You gonna fuck around and get me pregnant."
R. Kelly fakes out the audience after thirty minutes, saying "That's my time, thanks." The audience, of course, calls him out on it and he responds by picking up a sheet of paper and literally reading the setlist thus far in the show. "Oh, my bad, I got like 52 more songs to do tonight." He grabs another sheet of paper and puts it in his pocket. Somebody asks what it is and he replies, "Oh, that's just some scrap shit."
R. Kelly says, "It's hot up here. I need a stool or a chair or some shit." His crew brings him a throne and he performs "R&B Thug" acapella and seated.
R. Kelly brings a single lady on stage, and two men dressed in white lab coats bring her a clipboard and a pen. She signs the waiver and is brought into a white cage that the crew snuck on stage while Kelly briefly roamed the audience. The men tie her arms and legs in chains attached to the cage, Kelly enters and a white sheet drapes over the cage. The band keeps playing and the cage starts rocking. The cage becomes backlit and we see the outline of Kelly freaking on the volunteer. More rocking, more freaking, and when the sheet is removed, Kelly and the lady both act ashamed.
R. Kelly says the word booga a few dozen times in a row and then sings an operatic hymn in perfect Italian with no introduction before or explanation after.