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Jodeci's fall from from grace - quite literally

BETTER TIMES: Jodeci at the height of their success

IT PROMISED to be 'the biggest R&B spectacular of 2013' and, for the most part, it was.

R&B superstars Jodeci, Blackstreet, SWV and Dru Hill were among the names that made the winning line-up for The Show Tour at Wembley Arena last night (March 23), but for the 11,000 people who had packed into the sell-out event, the night was brought to a sobering end.

Jodeci, who many had billed as the headline act, were the last act to grace the stage and first to get booed.

Nineties favourites Changing Faces, SWV, Dru Hill and Blackstreet had many prematurely branding the night as "the best concert" they'd been to in a long while. And they weren't wrong, it was amazing.

Déjà Vu's DJ Frisky's carefully selected playlist, a homage to hits from the famous musical era, went down a treat with fans and acted as the perfect antidote to bridge the gap between sets.

The night's hosts, comedian Eddie Kadi and Choice FM's Jigs, also reaped praise from the crowd for their winning blend of comedy, dance and their natural flair to sustain a seamless order of events.

Even the UK's very own boy band Damage, the show's supporting act, did a great job as the crowd filed into the arena singing hits Ghetto Romance and Rumours.

And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, it didn't. Jodeci turned up seemingly intoxicated, a view that was only strengthened when group member Mr Dalvin fell off the stage before singing a note. Their once silky and harmonic vocals were nothing but a distant memory as the group, which was noticably missing member Devante, struggled to perform hits from their fruitful career and reach the notes and melodies that had made them stars.

The live band, who had taken 30 minutes to set up, didn't know what the R&B group were doing most of the time and it showed. K-Ci, JoJo and Mr Dalvin's attempt to draw audience participation failed miserably and instead sparked the onslaught of crowd members gathering their belongings and leaving.

In a last ditch attempt to claw back some glory, the threesome invited the fellow groups back on stage for the performance of Get On Up. Blackstreet reportedly declined the offer, while others, despite the hostility of the skeletal crowd, joined them on stage.

The song would have been a complete disaster if Sisqo and Jazz of Dru Hill fame hadn't picked up the microphone and taken on the lead vocals. Quite ironic that K-Ci had once allegedly accused Sisqo of stealing his sound - and he was the very man to save it.

It's unfortunate that the stage antics of Jodeci overshadowed what was otherwise a great night.

SWV's vocals were amazing on the cover of Patti Labelle's If Only You Knew and hits including You're The One and Weak sparked jubilation from the crowd.

Dru Hill's set was just as solid. The infamous dance routine to Tell Me was replicated around the arena and the gorgeous simplicity of Beauty went down a treat as fans two-stepped to the stand out track on 1998's Enter The Dru album. And they couldn't leave the stage without singing their first No.1 single, In My Bed and second chart-topper, Never Make a Promise.

The quartet's set was followed by Blackstreet, whose time on stage read like a mini concert of their own. Dressed in matching white outfits, the foursome, led by Teddy Riley, performed hits including Before I Let You Go and U Blow My Mind. Riley, often credited with the creation of the New Jack Swing era, performed a short solo stint on his famed keyboard and led the group in a professional and well-produced set.

Overall, a great beginning and middle was let down by a tragic end.

Promoters may need to think twice about booking Jodeci until they clean up their act, both personally and professionally. What was witnessed yesterday was truly heartbreaking for fans.

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