Back in the mid-80s to early 90s, concerts featuring R&B, rap and pop stars, usually at the height of their game, were a regular feature in this country. Boyz II Men, C&C Music Factory, MC Hammer, Queen Latifah, Colour Me Badd and Run DMC, were among those who filled the National Stadium as young Trinis flocked to hear and see their favourite stars in a pre-Internet, pre-YouTube, pre-urban radio station era. Perhaps it was with this memory, the organisers of the Redlight Concert Series chose the Hasely Crawford Stadium as their venue of choice for their first concert featuring R&B sensations Ne-Yo and R Kelly. It was an ambitious effort to say the least taking many factors into consideration.
The concert fell on Divali weekend, it was held the day after many were supposed to be in Barbados for the now-postponed Rihanna concert, and it was held a month before Christmas, making it difficult for some to part with their gift money or costume savings for that matter. Add in the facts that these stars have a track record of not showing up and that R&B music is now confined to Sunday night love shows and adult contemporary stations and what you got were a plethora of empty seats on Saturday night at the stadium, a vast space, which easily holds up to 70,000 on Fantastic Friday. Empty seats and rain aside, the promoters, Pollen Nation, P2 Productions and Parsons Creative, kept their promise to deliver a far superior experience to what we have become accustomed. The Black Diamond and Redlight Lounge areas, the two VIP spots with ticket prices well over $1,000, were well equipped with bars and food stations. The butler service in the Redlight Lounge seemed to be working all night and the bathrooms were kept clean and stocked by attendants. Even when rain fell, attendants offered paper towels to patrons to wipe up their seats. On the performance end, the headliners met expectations.