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Chris Brown delivers on his influence 

After a decade, the King of R&B Chris Brown returned to the Jamaican stage with just under two hours of hits, multi-coloured graphics, and high-energy choreography that amazed the thousands who filed into the National Stadium to see him.

It wasn’t until minutes after midnight that “Breezy” made his grand appearance from the air — thanks to a well-secured harness — following a virtual introduction telling fans that they were “now under the influence”.

Deafening screams echoed across the venue as cellular phone lights blanketed the bleachers, grandstands as well as the VIP and VVIP sections. The unforgettable moment that everyone was waiting for had finally arrived and it is safe to say that there was not an ounce of disappointment.

Brown had a lot of help from his audience of backup singers as he performed the opening number, Indigo. Soon after, it was almost as if the realisation hit him that he was back in the island after such a long time which promoted him to express his delight at this fact.

The audience is transfixed on the stage. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)
“Y’all look so good in here tonight. First and foremost, I wanna say thank you guys for allowing me to be here tonight. I ain’t been here in so long; I feel like it’s the right time…” he declared.

The cinematic effects complemented the musical journey that supporters were taken on.

Brown decided to go down memory lane starting with songs from his very first album which dropped in 2005. The reception given to Gimme That and Run It proved that the R&B great had some long-time fans out for the event. The sequence continued with hits from 2007 through the most recent — Summer Too Hot.

In the middle of the set, Brown invited Valiant as a surprise act while he went backstage to ditch his red shirt, blue shorts, and black cap. The wardrobe change resulted in him reappearing in a yellow pants and a yellow and black plaid shirt. There was an instance when the star of the night donned a white T-shirt that eventually landed into the hands of a lucky patron after he hurled it into the crowd. Several lucky women also caught some roses that were thrown into the audience as well.

To add more Jamaican flavour, he invited two of his dancers — a male and a female — who are from the island to pay homage to the colour. Throughout the performance the woman could be seen representing the national colours through her costume.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Chris Brown unless there was some sensuality. One lucky woman was brought onstage and serenaded, which earned a lot of playful jealous comments from female patrons.

There was even an interactive segment with a three-round game, wherein the audience got to choose what Brown would sing. In the end, the finalists were Say Goodbye, No Air and New Flame. He sang New Flame.

The Under The Influence concert culminated this year’s staging of BZR Weekend which was spearheaded by Solid Agency, Burke Bodley, VEW Live, LLC + PLXYBOY, and Jay Upscale.

Minutes after 2:00 am on Monday, when the memorable night came to an end, Brown vowed not to stay away too long from the country that he evidently loves so much.

“It won’t be another 10 years when y’all see me; imma come back real soon. Everybody, be positive, love one another, and just have fun,” he said, in closing.

Though hoarse, it was not hard to decipher what fans were saying when asked about their experience.

“It was phenomenal! The lights, dancing, the song selections, Chris Brown is in another league of his own,” Kerry-Ann Sinclair told the Jamaica Observer.

“It was perfect. There are no words to summarise what just took place here,” her friend, Abby-Ann Brown, added.