Concert Reviews

TLC at Echo Beach

The all time greatest selling girl group TLC, in tour to promote their final album that is not yet released but is simply only announced, came to Toronto via 93.5 The Move’s throwback shebang. This would be a perfect opportunity to not only fall back on some 90’s staples (the lesson giving Waterfalls and the anti-douchebag anthem No Scrubs), but a chance to remember Left Eye, the rapping member who unfortunately passed away in a vehicle accident in 2002. For 90’s enthusiasts, this was a great opportunity, and believe me when I say that the crowd was a variety of people. TLC didn’t sell millions of albums for nothing, after all (how many artists can claim they’ve hit diamond status in the United States?).

T-Boz and Chilli jumped out with the TLC dance crew and the hour of TLC’s radio hits began. The first number was a medley of old school TLC hits that incorporated classic Left Eye verses, including I Ain’t too Proud to Beg. For most of the evening afterwards, the setlist focused more on songs the two remaining members could perform as a duo, with the bulk of the material coming from their two biggest successes CrazySexyCool and FanMail. Even their performance of No Scrubs was the Left Eye-less original cut and not the remix that featured one of her biggest verses. We did get Waterfalls as an outro, which was bookended by a video of Left Eye talking about the song and her best lyrics of her career to end the song being projected for us to rap along to.

T-Boz handled the majority of the vocal duties as she walked along the stage and occasionally joined in with the dance crew. Chilli as more of the lead dancer who would take to the front of the stage to sing occasionally. T-Boz stayed to the left of the stage and Chilli kept to the right. The centre of the stage was usually bare, presumably for Left Eye; A classy touch. The duo would leave the stage occasionally for the DJ to make a statement just to bring the duo back on stage, which kind of felt like time that could have been used to keep the nostalgia fest going in my opinion. When they were on stage, they were having a blast. Chilli, still child like at heart, commanded the crowd surfing beach balls to be tossed her way so she could kick them back. She even declared that she, too, would crowd surf; I think the security’s negative reaction to that statement made her change her mind. Both members would have a laugh with one another between and during songs, and the love was still clearly alive.

The passion of the group is still there, and it was with the crowd as well. We got many TLC staples: Creep, Red Light Special, Unpretty and more. An hour wasn’t enough. I wish the duo had more time, an even more elaborate stage and the complete focus on them. Maybe with their last album dropping whenever it may, they will revisit Toronto and will have this kind of a set. I know it wasn’t likely to have this with a festival line up that lasts a full day, but we got a taste of something possibly even bigger.

About author

Former Film Editor & Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Co-host of the Capsule Podcast. A Greek/South African film enthusiast. He has recently earned a BFA honours degree in Cinema Studies at York University. He is also heavily into music, as he can play a number of instruments and was even in a few bands. He writes about both films and music constantly. You should follow him on Twitter @Andreasbabs.