Kelis Debuts ‘Flesh Tone’ in New York City
Performing her first full-length set consisting of new material from her forthcoming fifth album ‘Flesh Tone,’ R&B-turned-dance diva Kelis graced the stage last night at New York City’s Santos Party House for a thrilling, nearly flawless show, seamlessly mixing classic tracks from her catalogue with new tunes from the album.
Taking the stage after opener Maluca cranked up the energy and DJ Skeet Skeet spun a mix of bleary electro-bangers, Kelis appeared behind a black veil and kicked off her performance with the Freeschool-produced ’22nd Century Life’ as the curtain dropped and the beats started thumping.
Removing a conservative black frock and donning a white, stringy cape over a lace bodysuit, Kelis, ripped through a few new tracks including ’4th of July’ and ‘Home,’ explaining that the songs were just as new for the crowd as they were for her and asking the audience to “bear with me.” But the crowd lapped it up, rocking out to dance remixes of ‘Millionaire,’ ‘Trick Me,’ ‘Lil’ Star’ and ‘Get Along With You,’ mashing up her monster smash ‘Milkshake’ with Madonna’s ’80s classic ‘Holiday’ as bubbles poured from a machine on the side of the stage.
“I just want to sweat,” a glistening Kelis said before closing the half-hour set with the David Guetta-produced ‘Acapella,’ the lead single off the new album. “I honestly didn’t think I would last this long,” she said of making it to her fifth album in a little over a decade — a statement that the crowd greeted with a roar as an explosion of red confetti rained over the venue.
Kelis reappeared for an encore donning a Cleopatra-like headpiece and toe-to-hip coal-colored leather heels. Rather than keep the pace set earlier, Kelis revisited ‘Get Along With You,’ this time opting for the slinkier version that appeared on her 1999 debut ‘Kaleidoscope.’ Flexing her vocal chops, Kelis left the audience with one of the most soulful, emotional tracks of the evening -– showing that there’s quite a heartbeat under all that flesh.