Ryan Leslie

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, Sept. 20

In town on his Les Is More album tour, the hip-hop/R&B singer eschewed running through a bunch of tracks the crowd didn’t yet know in favor of the songs that got him in front of a packed poolside audience in the first place. Channeling his inner Curtis Mayfield, Leslie worked the keyboards while both rhyming and singing on “Beautiful Lie,” “Something That I Like” and “Diamond Girl,” during which he teased the women in the crowd with the song’s suggestive lyrics of marital commitment and expensive engagement rings. Leslie rocked the microphone on “5 Minute Freshen Up,” but the highlight of the night came with a local connection: After telling the audience a story about how a Las Vegas singer contacted him on Twitter before he came to town, Leslie invited the singer, Erika David, to join him onstage to sing part of “Addiction.” ★★★☆☆ —

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Wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, Matisyahu walked through the crowd and to the stage unnoticed—many fans were still unaware of his new lighter-colored hair and clean-shaven appearance since he shed his “Hasidic reggae superstar” label in 2011. This incarnation of Matisyahu (the musician has always experimented with different sonic styles) put on a good—not great—show, one that was nothing like the last three times I saw him.

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