On a chilly fall evening outside New York City’s performance venue Canal Room, everyone from teens to couples formed a line that snaked around the block, awaiting their turn to catch an earful of two R&B heartthrobs: one, veteran crooner Mario, and the other, newbie Mateo. The two joined forces for MySpace Music’s “The Release” to celebrate Mario’s latest effort, D.N.A.
As fans packed their way inside the mid-sized scene, they were greeted by a photo booth. Eager attendees posed for pics then immediately rushed their way to the front of the stage. As soon as the lights went off and DJ dB lowered the music, concertgoers screamed in excitement as MySpace Records signee Mateo took the stage. Many onlookers seemed unfamiliar with the new artist, remaining rather silent, until they heard the sounds of his soulful voice. He performed two songs off of his Get to Know Me (Live at Swing House) EP, “Ooh N Love” and “Complicated.” Following his set, a very thrilled Mateo informed the crowd of his upcoming performance at S.O.B.’s on December 2.
To the delight of many, Mario, his band, and four beautiful dancers, finally made their entrance. The Baltimore native opened his set with “Music for Love,” dressed in all black, paying homage to Jay-Z’s verse on “Run This Town” (He also stepped on stage to “Empire State of Mind”). Mario performed about nine songs over a 45-minute period, including tracks from his first album (“Just a Friend”) to the new (“Break Up”). Besides singing his own material, he covered Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You,” while wearing a white vest and matching hat. As the show came to an end, the singer left fans with a sincere sentiment. “This is my fourth studio album,” he revealed. “This is me giving you my D.N.A. I love you.”