When Chris Brown first headlined at the Sprint Center in 2008, the teenager was being hailed as the heir apparent to Michael Jackson, and the gleaming new arena still smelled of fresh construction materials. While the Sprint Center is still a premier entertainment destination, Brown has gone from an eager champion of wholesome pop to a controversial antihero.
Months after Brown flirted with his surprise guest Rihanna onstage at the Sprint Center in 2008, disturbing pictures emerged that indicated Brown had battered the young star. The incident became a flashpoint for discussions about domestic violence.
Rather than tempering his music to demonstrate repentance, Brown’s songs have become increasingly lurid. Tender hits like “With You” from his debut album have been supplanted by sexually graphic material like “Ayo.” On the lusty “Privacy,” his latest single, Brown tells the object of his desire to “get that ass in the bed, I’ma lock the door.”
The controversies that swirl around the man also known as Breezy haven’t diminished his irrefutable talents. While his subject matter is often coarse, his voice remains sweet, and he still dances like a hip-hop Fred Astaire.
Even people repelled by his misdeeds may buy tickets just to catch the opening acts on Brown’s The Party tour. Fabolous will rap old favorites like “Can’t Let You Go.” Current hitmakers O.T. Genasis (“Cut It”) and Kap G (“Girlfriend”) round out the bill.
Tickets for the Tuesday concert at Sprint Center are $28-$148 in advance.
Concert previews by Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink