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R. Kelly, Megalomaniac, Shows 10 Ways To Close Out Pitchfork in Style

A handy list of ways to make sure your rapt audience knows who they came to adore. Diamond mic? Check!

Photo: Clayton Hauck 

R. Kelly closed out Pitchfork festival on Sunday night with one of the best sets I’ve seen in my many festival-going years. 

The hour-plus set was a glorified Kelly love fest, set to his top 40 hits. It worked: Who else besides Kells could start with “Ignition” and still have successful arc to his show?

The singer’s fans may love him—his Sunday night performance brought in a record number of Pitchfork people—but no one loves the man more than himself.

Here’s a 10-step formula for closing out the festival with the style and swagger of R. Kelly: 

  1. Don a deep-v t-shirt with sequins.
  2. Bathe yourself in light, but keep the band unlit and in the dark. (Don’t introduce them, either.)
  3. Bring a gospel choir on stage, but only use them for one chorus of one song. (Don’t light them at all.)
  4. Get a crowd of tens of thousands to cheer: “You’re in shape!”
  5. Riff on the longevity of your career: “Twenty-fucking-seven years!” Do this for at least two minutes.
  6. Carry a diamond-encrusted mic.
  7. Litter the entire West Side of Chicago with balloons shaped like doves.
  8. Brag about being up there for two hours when it’s barely been one hour.
  9. Insist that your show is a “sexy grown-man show.”
  10. Play one of your own songs as the pre-recorded stage-exit music.

Bonus: Have a fanbase so rabid that they shout things like “You’re a fucking unicorn! A mystical fucking unicorn!”



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