Trey Songz is doing what many others before him have done, from Tom Jones to Luther Vandross: singing songs of seduction.
He’s just doing it more salaciously.
And with better pecs and abs.
On Friday night, the R&B singer from Virginia filled the Midland theater, mostly with women, many of whom were dressed to attract attention. For 90 minutes, he had their attention, bombarding them with songs and ballads about romance and its many dimensions, especially the erotic ones.
The headliner followed a set by R&B singer Miguel that was shorter but nearly as carnal. His set included the reggae-infused “Quickie,” which contains a couplet involving the word “hickey.”
Songz brought a six-piece band that included a kinetic horn section, backup singers, dancers and splashy visuals, including a laser show and a soft-porn video.
The stage was equipped with a raised platform that included a trapdoor from which Songz emerged to open the show. All that visual stimuli abetted music written to stir the heart and the loins, music whose mission is often stated explicitly in song titles or within lyrics.
He opened with a couple of those — “Dive In” and “Panty Wetter” — songs filled with double entendres, sexual innuendoes and rank bravado. It all aroused plenty of squeals, singing along and suggestive dancing.
He sustained that kind of steamy pitch for most of his set, thanks also to his skills as a singer and an entertainer. He does have charisma and a nice falsetto.
The sound was rough most of the night, especially upstairs, but that didn’t seem to affect the mood in the place. During a few of the midtempo numbers, like “Fumble,” a lull set in, but then he rekindled the heat with a party anthem like “Say Aah,” which was fused with the chorus to 2 Chainz’s “Birthday Song.” (Songz turned 27 on Nov. 28.)
It wasn’t all about the physical realm. Songz showed his vulnerable side, too, in tracks like “Heart Attack,” which set off some happy mayhem early in the show, and “Simply Amazing,” a feel-good declaration of love.
Other songs on the set list: “Love Faces,” “Playin’ Hard,” “Don’t Be Scared,” “Unusual,” “Can’t Be Friends,” “Can’t Help But Wait,” “Unusual” and “Bottoms Up,” one of the closers, which set the place ablaze.
By then, he was naked to the waist, with some underthings in his back pocket, showing off his sculpted upper body and giving the crowd exactly what it came to get stoked about.