Bobby Brown, Holding It Together

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sorry, Britney, but you're still on the hook for the worst live performance of 2007. Bobby Brown, one of the few artists capable of a train wreck on par with Spears's MTV Video Music Awards performance, kept it together during his Friday show at Show Place Arena.

Although his pelvic thrusts were geriatric and his tongue aerobics creepy, Brown got through his portion of the New Jack Swing show without major incident. The "King of R&B" (who appeared with one-half of Jodeci, two-thirds of Tony! Toni! Ton┬┐! and one-third of Guy) ably revisited his post-New Edition, pre-Whitney Houston peak, including "Don't Be Cruel," "Roni" and, of course, "My Prerogative."

As is always the case with Brown, however, what he said was far more interesting than what he sang.

"Baltimore!" Brown shouted at one point. When the crowd failed to react, he asked, "Where am I right now?" After figuring out he was playing to a Washington crowd, Brown said, "They told me I was in Baltimore -- I guess so I could come out here and embarrass myself." The singer also played coy about his reported October heart attack: "You all think I had a heart attack, but I'm all right. I made it."

Aaron Hall of Guy inexplicably closed the show, a sequence that seemed to confuse everyone -- including Brown. "They told me I had an hour and 15 minutes, now they're telling me I only got 40," Brown said. Still, despite the truncated set, Bobby told fans not to worry about him. "I only got 40 minutes, but I still got broke off," he said of getting paid in full. "I can pay child support for another year -- y'all won't be seein' my [behind] in jail no more!"

-- Sarah Godfrey

© 2007 The Washington Post Company