Anyone who has witnessed Wayne live can tell you his voice is a virtuoso's, capable of weird, Dylan-like cragginess, Snoop Dogg's slipperiness, and Miles Davis-esque subtleties.
Wayne fronted a band (including a bassist who doubled on cello) that appeared to float in midair.
As risers lifted and dropped, the ensemble crafted propulsive sounds with diverse shadings that - despite the lousy sound mix - brought Wayne's rants and ravings alive.
While a frenetic "Got Money" allowed Wayne a shot at his quavering higher register, the slink of "Fireman" brought a rumble that was low and slow.
Though an ominous "Sky's the Limit" was sparsely arranged to show off Wayne's brand of maximal danger, a rim-shot rhythmic "La La" was the highlight, just Wayne working a beat like a speed bag.
Keyshia Cole hasn't done badly for herself in 2008. Her new album, A Different Me, debuted near the top of Billboard's album chart, and the third season of her BET reality series, The Way It Is, started in November.
On stage, the edgy Oakland, Calif., soul chanteuse moved in a slightly more dance direction than her audiences are used to. Her steps were clunky. Her background dancers were a distraction.
The beats and music seemed weirdly dated and shrill - off-kilter Minneapolis melodies matching Prince to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
But Cole's voice was impeccable, an empowered soprano silken and cutting on a macabre "duet" with the late Tupac, "Playa Cardz Right" and the creamy, cosmopolitan "I Changed My Mind."