ICYMI: R&B singer Coco Jones shines at weekend show at Charlotte’s Underground

Coco Jones performed live in Charlotte over the weekend for her “What I Didn’t Tell You Tour Part ll” for a roughly hour-long set. Jones has come a long way since her days on the Disney Channel. Through it all, the actress-singer’s core fan base has remained through “Let it Shine,” “Holla at the DJ,” to now TV show “Bel-Air” as well as her breakthrough single “ICU.”Here are eight takeaways from the show.

Coco’s melismatic vocals

Coco Jones is a talented singer. There wasn’t a dull vocal moment during the show, from insane runs during “Put You On” to a surprise acapella set where it was just her serenading the audience for about five minutes. And it was clear that her mic was on.

That (unexpected) acapella moment 

Coco Jones performs at The Underground in Charlotte. November 2023. (Anders Hare / QCity Metro)

Jones’ acapella serenade came unexpectedly when the music and mic went silent during “Double Back.” Eventually, the mic came back on, but the music did not, and like any skilled entertainer, she kept the energy going by taking song requests from the audience. It was a treat for fans as she belted out her song with Brent Faiyaz, “Moment of Your Life,” and even went back to her Disney days with “Holla at the DJ.” It was a showing of how much her music resonates with fans; the audience joined in for backing vocals on every song.

Coco’s stage presence

As a multi-faceted entertainer, Coco Jones’ ability to keep all eyes on her is undeniable. The opening high-energy performances of “Spend It” and “No Chaser” kept the audience’s attention and showed her ability to move around the stage and maintain her vocals. Her bubbly personality and talent as an entertainer shined through every part of the performance. 

Ebony Riley’s opening set

Coco Jones performs at The Underground in Charlotte. November 2023. (Anders Hare / QCity Metro)

Right before Coco Jones hit the stage, R&B songstress and Detroit native Ebony Riley had a chance to show off her brand of somber yet resilient R&B. Songs like “Open” and a cover of SWV’s “Weak” kept the audience engaged, but before moving into another song, “Save Me,” she gave an emotional mention of her foster mom and foster sister who were at the show. Riley said she would not be where she is today without them. It was a tender moment that gave insight into Riley’s roots as an artist.

The cover songs

With just a handful of original music out, Jones treated the audience to several covers of classic R&B hits. She sang a bit of SWV’s “Rain” during her song “Double Back,” went into a few lines of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” and even mixed Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” with her song “Crazy For Me.” Of course, the crowd went wild during these moments, but it also showed the range of her artistry and where she might go in future projects

A nod to Justin Timberlake

One cover that stood out from the rest was Jones’ full performance of Justin Timberlake’s “Until the End of Time.” The song demanded a lot from a vocal standpoint, but Jones nailed it perfectly. It sounded almost like it was made for her.

Jones’ performance of ‘Fallin’

Some of the best moments of this show were the sultry ones, including a performance of Coco’s song “Fallin.” During the performance, she brought one lucky fan on stage to serenade. The move to sing to a fan onstage was a callback to other classic R&B sets by artists like Destiny’s Child’s “Cater 2 U” and Usher’s lauded residency shows.

An anthemic performance of ‘ICU’

“This is our song,” Jones said before starting her hit record “ICU.” The audience went wild, belting every word along with her. She even topped the performance off with a crazy moment of melisma – a group of notes sung to one syllable – during the bridge. The performance further solidified Jones’ place as one of the most recognizable names in modern R&B at the moment.

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