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In concert: Trey Songz at DAR Constitution Hall

trey songzThe neighbors know his name: Trey Songz performed to a sold-out DAR Constitution Hall on Saturday. (All photos by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Chris Klimek

In the post-R. Kelly R&B carnality arms race (or is it an abs race?), 25-year-old Petersburg, Va., native Trey Songz is in little danger of being outgunned. He may one day use his limber tenor to map the terrain of other subjects and emotions, but four albums into a career on which he's cited Kelly as the prime influence, Songz is, to hear him tell it, a man whose devotion to sex is so pure, so singular, so encompassing, "monastic" is the only word.

Saturday night at a sold-out DAR Constitution Hall, he preached his highest, holiest Mass.

The 100-minute session opened with "I Invented Sex" and peaked with "The Neighbors Know My Name." (Not because they accidentally got some of his mail.) Late in the show Songz snapped a photo of the audience, saying, "There is no me without y'all," but the night was not about humility.

(Read the rest of this review and view more photos, after the jump)

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Save for some conspicuous recorded backing vocals, his first headlining tour was absent big-venue production gimmicks: The gig succeeded entirely on its star's vocal power, energy and charisma, all boundless, though you wonder whether he has any other hobbies. Truth is, his main addiction seems to be work: His breakthrough album, "Ready," is barely a year old, but the follow-up, "Passion, Pain & Pleasure" drops next week.

"Jupiter Love" -- a tame and tender ballad, considering -- was the first of several showstoppers, stretching out to epic length while the self-crowned "Prince of Virginia" shouted out various ladies vying for a mention. Objects waved overhead: Angel wings possibly repurposed from a school holiday pageant (or from the Trey's Angels fan club), a glossy Songz headshot, lacy red panties, and then a flip-flop. (Come on, lady. You've got to want it.) Later, Songz brought a quaking-with-excitement woman onstage to administer a massage, oil and all. He waited until she'd left to demonstrate his more intimate techniques, mimed as if not alone, and leaving little to the imagination.

But "Jupiter Love" suggested his most PG-rated oath was also his most sacred: "You the shhhhh/Got me turning off my cellphone." Trey Songz may sing in rhyme, but he doez not speak in riddlez.

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By Click Track  |  September 6, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Trey Songz  
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Next: Week ahead: Jamey Johnson smiles for the cameras; Best Coast comes east; Robyn drops album sequel

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