Keith Sweat Review

August 17, 2017

Keith Sweat Live at Sydney’s Star Event centre Sat Aug 5

 Reviewed by Chris Zinn

Expectations were high although details were few for the first Australian tour from New Jack Swing pioneer and the self-styled ‘Casanova of R&B’ Keith Sweat.


A pre-visit interview further heightened the stakes by suggesting Keith didn’t hear voices like Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross anymore intimating he was really one of them. 

Suffice to say Keith managed to deliver in the categories which count: an amazing voice, a terrific repertoire of songs, a range from moving ballads to bad ass dancing and some outrageous banter.

But in the key area of class, in which Teddy and Luther both excelled, I’d have to score Mr Sweat down for the endless grabbing of his own crotch and too many lines of tired sexual innuendo.

His music is seductive enough that he doesn’t have to overdo the dated black soul singer stitch such as leering out at the ‘ladies’ promising some of them ‘are going to get pregnant tonight’!

It’s also one of the only soul shows I’ve ever seen where the singer never mentioned, acknowledged or even thanked the magnificent three-piece backing band.


No word either about the wonderful opening from the reformed Melbourne four-piece vocal support band CDB who dripped class and sassy soul.

In another first Keith confusingly vacated the stage after only a few numbers to change his outfit while his one time producer and long time pal Teddy Riley performed a mini set.

However these are mere gripes when he sang the audience, who were up and dancing most of the time, shared in the kind of black music experience which only comes to these shores on special occasions.

He covered many, but by no means all, of his signature period from the late 80s/90s such as of course Twisted with the help of recordings to make up for the missing chorus and duet partners.

It was loud and lively and perhaps it was the venue but I left thinking I could have done with a little bit more of the real Keith Sweat and a little less of the stereotyped showbiz bluster.


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