Even with the provision of seats in the VIP, excited fans choose to stand on them instead TONIGHT, Im gonna sing every goddamn song I ever wrote, the exuberant R. Kelly said as he began his performance at Lugogo Cricket Oval, Friday night. The venue reverberated with screams of excitement. Sadly, that was not to be. Fast forward to the end: for minutes after the American international R&B superstar had quit the stage, a sizeable chunk of the over 20,000 people in the arena remained put, with their eyes glued to the stage, in utter disbelief that the show was really over. Many confessed they thought the singer had only taken a break and would return for phase two since he had only scratched the surface of what he had promised them. But alas! R. Kelly was really gone he had given a full hours performance without a break and that was it! Somehow, one understood the fans pain. Kelly left without doing some of the really cherished songs like Storm Is Over, Gotham City, Heaven I Need A Hug, Im Your Angel, Worlds Greatest and You Saved Me. Even those he performed earlier, he sampled in one big medley. But how else could a man who would have required at least three hours to fully sing only the monster hits of his 20-year career compress the delivery into just an hour? Yet he performed as many hits from his catalogue of songs as time could allow. And while he performed, it was pure, unadulterated joy at seeing such a superstar sing live. It probably isnt the best performance we have seen by a visiting foreign artiste, but this was the real thing. Perhaps careful to limit that raw sexuality that dominates his American performances, Kelly, whose fondness for the ladies is well documented, still had enough sexual undertones to send the women screaming. And scream they did. But one thing he could give the audience in unfettered doses that evening (his natural charm aside) was his soulful voice; live. What R.Kelly does best is sing and that is what he did he sang and that made for some very happy people. He sang Hotel, flowed into Body Calling, after which he dropped song after song from Fiesta, Ignition, I Wish, Snake, Thoa Thong, Bump & Grind, I Believe I Can Fly, Step to Happy People. All through, the charged crowd happily chorused along as the ladies swore their undying love for him. When he thanked Uganda for supporting him for the years he has been in the music business, you felt he was being honest and at curtains-down, his face was wrought with emotion as he saluted and waved to the crowd innumerable times before bowing off stage at about 11.20pm. The local artistes voted by fans to sing at the concert had elevated the fans spirits before R. Kelly appeared to serve the main course. GNL kicked off the party at 7:30pm, followed by Peter Miles, Mozey Radio and Weasle, Bebe Cool and Jose Chameleone in that order. And for many fans the party, which had started with queues gathering at the venue long before the gates were even open, continued night-long at different locations around town. But there were lessons to be learnt as well. Zain officials said the singer refused to grant any press interviews, and at the concert, his entourage tried to stop press photographers from taking pictures. They had to hide among the crowd to take pictures. Next time somebody brings in a foreign artiste, a small type in the contract should have it that the artiste will be open to media interviews and photo opportunities. Zain, you paid the Piper, you should have called the tune. Why pay the artiste a zillion shillings if you are not getting the mileage you deserve? Then there was the security, and those bouncers who have no idea about crowd control. Silk Events has by default become the leader in event management, but these continued battles with the media are not doing you guys any good. Deploying a Saracen guard, whose experience is in chasing robbers, to deal with thousands of people at a music concert is not very smart. And no more kanyamas from downtown, please; the chaps do not even speak English. And to all those Ugandans who were still trying to get in after 10:00pm serves you right. The adverts read 7:00pm, so get a life, people.