“Oh my God! I have paid a fortune. My money has gone down the drain,” said a furious fan in the standing section for which tickets sold for R1 250.
Another fan, songwriter and SA Music Award’s Best Male Artist nominee Kabomo Vilakazi, took to Twitter to vent his anger, saying Brown’s concert was the worst he had seen.
Concert promoter Glen Netshipise, of Glen21 Entertainment, who brought Brown to the country for the second time, defended the star saying he wasn’t aware of any “lip-synching”.
He admitted the tickets were far more expensive for Brown’s current X Tour Life than for his 2012 tour for which tickets sold for between R490 and R690.
“But I think people saw the value of their money last night. The production was on point,” Netshipise said on Friday.
He said the show had sold out and had “reached our targets” in terms of revenue.
Nobody at Thursday night’s concert, however, had anything to say about Brown’s conviction for domestic violence. In 2009 he assaulted ex-girlfriend pop star Rihanna before the Grammy Awards ceremony, leaving her with a severely battered face.
Netshipise defended the promoters’ decision to bring Brown to the country again, saying the star was a changed man.
“Chris has changed. He’s not the same as he was three years ago. He is in a different space now and he has grown up,” he said, adding that Brown’s X Tour Live was “only about his music and talent”.
“The rest of his past is not for us to judge. I also made mistakes when I was 19 - I was also rebellious.”
Brown, he said, had owned up to his mistakes and served his time - more than 1 000 hours of community service - and “people must just give him a second chance”.
Unlike his former girlfriend, Brown doesn’t make big backstage demands of his promoters.
His list of specifications for his dressing room are modest compared with other singing stars.
Rihanna requires that her dressing room be carpeted and draped in white chiffon. She also demands a throw rug of plush animal print which “must be clean as she will walk on it barefoot”.
Pop diva Lady Gaga, who performed at the FNB Stadium in 2012, likes the air temperature of her room to be set at 32°C and stocked with puréed baby food.
Brown, however, asked for comfortable lounge furniture, including a couch, coffee table, rug and occasional tables. He also wanted soft lighting to create a soothing ambience.
To eat he asked for “fresh fruit and vegetables plus tasty snacks” said publicist Debra De Souza. To drink, he asked for fresh fruit juices and bottled water.
De Souza said his tastes now, as they were in 2012, were “far from outrageous”.
“I can’t remember anything that was unusual - he’s always been a simple man,” she said.
After Brown’s two-hour performance, he and his entourage, including his opening act, US rapper August Alsina, went to the Kong nightclub in Rosebank where they partied until way after 2am.
Brown, dressed in a grey, sleeveless, hooded sweatshirt and black pants, was seen in the club’s VIP section, which was stocked with Moët & Chandon Champagne. He spent time sitting on a couch and chatting to his entourage, occasionally getting up to dance to some hip-hop tracks.
The afterparty was jam-packed with fans waiting to catch a glimpse of him, and women flocked around the VIP section pushing and shoving to get close to the star. Fans were clamouring to take pictures of Brown, but his burly bodyguards wouldn’t let them get close.
Also in the VIP section were local celebrities, including singer Donald Moatshe, model and actor Maps Maponyane and TV presenter Siyabonga “Scoop” Ngwekazi, but they were on the other side and didn’t get a chance to mingle with him either.
Brown and August left in the early hours of the morning and headed for the Michelangelo hotel in Sandton, where they were staying. They travelled to Durban where he performed at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.
Lip-synching or not, Brown’s Joburg fans were given a performance many will never forget.
When he sang his hit, Take You Down, many of his female fans went crazy and screamed along to the music.