While he may be known, or as he rather broaches put in a box as the R&B/Urban crooner, last night (October 4) the musical dynamo Ryan Leslie tore down a sold out Gramercy Theatre in NYC like a rock star.
Packed to the core with diehards—who were lined up since 4PM in the day—the Flatiron District located venue was treated to an adrenaline-pumping and overall exhilarating performance from Les. Backed by a live band, the singer/producer dove deep into his catalog’s essential hits all the while excited fans recited each lyric in unison.
Behind a pair of dark shades, while decked out in all black with a pair of Air Jordan 1s (“Bred”) in tow, the quadruple threat kept the momentum meter on full the entire night—even jumping behind the piano at times to drive certain tracks true-to-life. Performing cuts from his eponymous debut (“I-R-I-N-A,” “How It Was Supposed to Be,” “Diamond Girl”) and Transition sophomore album (“Something I Like,” “Zodiac Sign,” “Guardian Angel”) the crowd seemed to be in a trance. Even when cuts from his new album, Les Is More were played (“The Black Flag,” “5 Minute Freshen Up,” “Swiss Francs”)—fans sang along word for word, despite the album’s arrival in two weeks (October 22).
“Fall to your knees for the greatest, the king, the greatest…three times,” professed the man of the hour, channeling his inner James Brown. Despite the boast, the crooner came across less brash and prudent rather, as chants and praise clamored the full house in agreement.
“My dream is to sell out Madison Square Garden and when we do I’m gonna think about y’all here at the Gramercy Theatre,” said an elated Ryan to the sold out house before the night’s close. “If you had a good time and got your money’s worth its because I love you.” It was certainly a night to remember.
Les’ forthcoming album, Les Is More will arrive October 22nd. —Ralph Bristout (@XXLRalph)