Music fans looking for a smoother way to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend needed to look no further than The R&B Tour, featuring fellow crooners Ro James and BJ the Chicago Kid. The talented duo spent most of the month on the road, bringing their music to fans across the country and touched down in LA on Sunday for the final stop of the tour. The crooning duo fully treated the occasion like the celebration that it was.
The co-headliners each brought plenty of accolades to the stage; Ro James earned a GRAMMY nomination in 2016 off the strength of his song "Permission," while BJ the Chicago Kid has received four nominations to date. Most recently, they've kept themselves busy with compact EPs to follow up their well-received albums. Ro James dropped off the four-song project Smoke in March, while BJ released The Opening Ceremony just before going on tour, helping build the buzz as the concert dates approached.
After a solid opening set from the soulful duo VanJess, Ro and BJ marched onto the stage together, performing their rendition of Jodeci's classic R&B cut "Come and Talk to Me." The instrumentation from the accompanying live band had the crowd vibing early, with smiles all around and hardly a section without dancing.
Throughout the night, the two traded time on stage to allow for the soundscape, and their outfits, to stay as fresh as possible. BJ the Chicago Kid's passion was fully evident on songs such as "Nothing to Something" off his new EP, reveling in his journey and taking the chance to appreciate the fans who have been there with him. An acoustic version of his song "Jeremiah/World Needs More Love" showcased his impressive vocal range, and connected with the crowd through his earnest display of showmanship.
When Ro James was on stage, even the room's aroma signaled his presence, thanks to the burning sage he kept in his hand. Early on, he brought out another talented singer in Luke James, whose shimmering falsetto was simply mesmerizing as he danced around to his song "Drip." Ro's gritty vocals also went over well, squeezing out the notes on "Holy Water" in heartwarming fashion, as he dedicated the song to the late Leah Labelle who passed away in a car accident earlier this year.
Without a true intermission between their performances, one would expect the two-hour joint set to start to drag towards the end, but both certainly did their best to combat the issue, with BJ covering F.L.Y.'s iconic song "Swag Surfin'." Those who stayed until the end certainly didn't regret it, as the performers closed with two of their biggest hits: BJ's soul-stirring "Turnin' Me Up," and Ro James' booming "Already Knew That." The night certainly lived up to expectations, serving as a fitting end to The R&B Tour.