On Friday, a stage with bright neon lights swathed in purple-and-white signage reading “Urban Music Festival” outshone Austin’s light-porous skyline. The 14-year-old festival was created partially in response to the narrow supply of downtown spaces for local black musicians, DJs and music lovers; although these issues persist, they are momentarily eclipsed each year by this musical blessing at Vic Mathias Shores.

The scene felt like a family reunion — straw fedoras and relaxed hair with curls in the mix of a crowd of mostly black music lovers in their 40s and up (an unfortunately uncommon sight in Austin), lounging in their folding chairs along the Colorado River, listening and grooving to the same sounds of R&B, gospel, neo-soul and jazz that have propelled early morning clean-ups and wafted through the air with the smell of smoked ribs at cookouts.

With mixes (like Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” over a “Murder She Wrote” instrumental) by the "father of Austin hip-hop," DJ Cassanova, and the soulful, rolling moans (the kind only groomed in black church choirs) from Syleena Johnson, it was apparent that this year was no different. But Blackstreet, a Grammy-winning R&B group, gave something more when closing out the first day of the festival: both a solution for the '70’s and '80’s babies hankering for live, nostalgic R&B and an example of shifting perceptions of controversial, barrier-breaking black music icons.

Blackstreet members sang chart-topping songs infused with heartbreak, love, sex and party vibes. Teddy Riley, a New Jack Swing pioneer, opened the performance with shrill robotic vocals that pierced through “Teddy’s Jam” (by his former group, Guy) and Johnny Kemp’s 1987 Grammy-nominated single “Just Got Paid,” both of which Riley helped produce. Chairs at the back of the VIP section emptied as audience members began to slowly groove toward the live band. Shades of brown hands and arms levitated in the air, mirroring a scene of black teens at a late-'80s house party with bumped mushroom hairdos, baggy wind jackets, tube socks and Nike sneakers.

» RELATED: Largest sale of recorded music coming back to Austin in May

A little over five minutes into the performance, Blackstreet members Dave Hollister, J-Stylz and Rodney Poe joined Riley to execute old-school dance moves and songs. Pain-filled ballads like 1996's “Don’t Leave” gradually transitioned into 1994's “Before I Let Go" — what many black parents will continue to claim is for the “grown and sexy.”

Hugging couples and enchanted women quickly caught up to the fast-paced rhythm of song samples and the beats of drum machines. Riley, whose Harlem family legacy helped hone his playing flexibility, jumped on his keyboard to deliver synthesized vocals that melted into instrumentals of songs like Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show” (1986) and Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” (1988). Markell Riley, Teddy’s brother, briefly came to the stage to provide back-arching rhymes for “Rump Shaker” (1992) by Wreckx-n-Effect.

Riley both hyped and poked at audience members, like they were old family members who hadn’t seen each other since the last get-together. But a bit of the momentum the group built up during the first half of the show died down after Riley asked if he could perform a Michael Jackson song. The shouts of previously expressed delight awkwardly faded a little, leaving space for a few audience members to edge Riley on, while a few shouted in disagreement.

Controversy continues to surround Jackson’s legacy, with new, #MeToo-era public attention focusing on sexual assault allegations made in recent HBO documentary "Leaving Neverland." Riley, who worked closely with Jackson, has continued to claim on social media that the "Thriller" singer was innocent of those allegations. (Jackson died in 2009.) During the short tribute, Riley eased into Egyptian dance moves to a synthesized version of “Remember The Time” (1991).

» RELATED: More than Latin: Grupo Fantasma releases new record ‘American Music’

The image of uneasy faces and still bodies quickly dissolved when Hollister, J-Stylz and Poe returned to the stage to deliver deep vibrato over samples of Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands” (1971) for “No Diggity” (1991). Blackstreet wrapped the song up with a church-like stomp-clap to a performance of “Tears of Fear” (1985) denouncing social ills like racism and police brutality.

After being reminded several times that the scheduled event ended at 10 p.m., Riley and bandmates ended the show with “Wobble,” “Brick House” and more before standing in unison at the front of the stage and bowing, leaving festival-goers with memories of modern R&B’s dawn and the evolving standards for icons in the genre and in the city.