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Live Review: TLC @ Enmore Theatre


Just the week 90s R&B superstar’s TLC descended upon Sydney. Unlike some international artists, TLC didn’t just bring themselves. With them came the TLC Band and Dancers all led by their own MC. It was a well-oiled machine that was bought to Newtown’s Enmore Theatre and it left fans wanting for more.

No matter who is performing, Enmore Theatre always attracts an eclectic mix of fans and TLC was no different. Fans were decked out in denim and other 90’s drab, despite a vast number of them not being 90s kids. #Sorrynotsorry but if you’re born in ’97 and beyond you’re not a 90s kid, you’re a 90s baby! Regardless of age though, people were there to enjoy a night of R&B and hits from their youth. In that regard, the warm up act MIMI from DJ group CRXZY SXXY CXXL was the perfect choice.

DJ’s live and die on their setlist choices. Their mixing could be A+ but if the song choices aren’t right then it doesn’t matter to the audience. MIMI nailed it on both accounts. The transitions between songs was smooth and always managed to give the audience a sneak peak of the next song to come. Her song choices would put most kids straight back into a high school disco.

It was a fun mix of R&B hits from Fatman Scoop, Blackstreet, Kriss Kross, Destiny’s Child, and more. As well as playing some fresher hits like Bieber, Beyonce and Timberlake. She had the audience jumping and grinding for TLC.

The MC for the night was band-member Benny Demus, who started off a bit awkwardly. His role was to hype up the audience before the duo came on, but his first song choice fell flat. He found his groove quickly though and got the audience singing to Prince’s Kiss before the spectacle began.

When TLC came on the stage it was not just vocalists Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas, but also their four incredible dancers. These dancers helped make the show and regardless of the song they had a well-rehearsed routine.

They launched into Creep following a prolonged intro and instantly hit the mark with the audience. The flashback to one of their earliest hits got people singing along and in a good space for the rest of the night. T-Boz and Chilli were dressed in head-to-toe denim, in a style that would have suited their first album ‘Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip’. Despite their outfits belonging in a thrift shop it was clear that the girls are total professionals. They bought charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to the stage and the show was the better for it.

“TLC have not last the spark that people fell in love with and many will be lining up for their new album that they promise us is coming in 2017.”

TLC is considered by many to be the pinnacle of female groups. In fact, even Beyonce has stated “TLC has influenced just about every female group that’s out there now and they definitely influenced Destiny’s Child”. It’s a shame then that the trio suffered the loss of Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes in 2002. The show honoured her by letting her raps play as originally recorded rather than re-done by the other two. The song Meant To Be was specifically dedicated to Left-Eye.

The duo ran through their hits including FanMail, Damaged, Digging on You, and the enduringly popular Unpretty. For Red Light Special they even dragged an audio member onstage to receive a tame lap dance. The audience loved it! So if you’re seeing one of their later shows make sure to stand out so that you can receive this privilege…

The DJ at no point let up on the audience either. In most shows the artist leaves the stage, there’s silence and then cheering until the encore starts again. Not for TLC. In the first encore the DJ took the chance to introduce the band and keep up the energy. When TLC did come back on they not only did a medley of Girl Talk and I’m Good at Being Bad, but they also played new single Haters. Knowing how to please the audience they told us that we were the first to hear this single live!

They left fans wanting for more and in their second and final encore they gave us what many had been waiting to hear. Their songs No Scrubs and Waterfalls are still just as powerful as they were back in the ’90s. The entire audience had their phones in the air for Waterfall as it closed out the show.

Even if you went to the show knowing only their four number-one singles you would have been impressed. The girls put on a show with energy and enthusiasm and the audience loved it. TLC have not last the spark that people fell in love with and many will be lining up for their new album that they promise us is coming in 2017.