CONCERT REVIEW: It’s Not Easy Keeping Up With Joe Thomas

We’re not sure which we love more: R&B singer Joe Thomas at work or Joe Thomas at play. But we know this for sure – he does both in grand style!

Joe’s been having quite the summer with the release of a brand-new album, Bridges, in June. The album, which features collaborations with Kelly Rowland and 50 Cent, wasted no time topping the R&B charts with singles like “Mary Jane” – which samples the 1978 Rick James classic by the same name. In support of his new album, Joe is presently on a rigorous tour that would challenge even the most seasoned of music industry veterans. But Joe appears to be satisfying his fans, and probably making a few new ones, everywhere he goes.

Speaking of where he’s going, it seems as if Joe will go to the ends of the earth to share his feel-good R&B with his fans. The 41-year-old will be performing in Uganda this fall as the headlining act for the Nile Gold Jazz Safari in October, but we didn’t have to travel that far to see Joe make the magic up close and in person.

It was almost 11pm before Joe graced the stage at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York on June 19th, but the R&B crooner, who we interviewed exclusively last summer, made sure that the crowd was good and revved up by the time he came on. He enlisted the help of Lyfe Jennings, Ginuwine and Tank (also known as two-thirds of R&B super group TGT, which touts Tyrese Gibson as its third member) to make the show do what it do. And what a show it was!

We give much props to all the fellas who took one for team love that night by bringing their ladies and letting them show up and show out as these fab four worked them into a screaming, gyrating frenzy. Special shout out to Love & Hip Hop bad boy Rich Dollaz, who was turned all the way up to 10 as he periodically ventured onto the stage with a cup in his hand to toast the crowd and make sure everyone was having a good time. It was all love as Lyfe Jennings set the women straight on what kind of man they don’t want with the song “Statistics.”

Lyfe got the ladies up from their seats, but Ginuwine got them away from them and to the front of the stage as he performed his trademark song “Pony” and performed a sexually suggestive one-legged “snake” onstage. The ladies lost it as ’Wine danced into the audience, but by the time Tank took the stage it was another mad dash to the front of the house to see and hear Mr. “Please Don’t Go” and “You’re My Star” up close and in person. Tank jokingly cursed out the house security for chasing his fans away from the stage and back to their seats, but he had nothing but love for the ladies in the house, one of which he actually gave $250 to for her freshly done weave. By the time Joe got ready to perform, the crowd was good and jonzing for that good old-school meets new-school R&B that Joe has built his career on singing, as only he can.

Joe will also be appearing at the end of August in Baltimore with one of our VH1 Soul darlings, Fantasia –so get your tickets while you still can! Follow Joe on Instagram at therealjoethomas and hit us up on Facebook and Twitter @vh1soul to share your Joe jonz!

[Photo: Walid Azami]