A grown man was weeping. "I've been there since the early stuff," he says.
So have we all. And though many (most…er, the rest) of us weren't weeping, our hearts were still aflutter. That's because we were all in New York's Beacon Theatre watching TLC perform their first full concert in roughly 10 years. (After Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes's death in 2002, TLC is now the duo of Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins.) It was part of VH1's Super Bowl Blitz concert series. God bless VH1.
The best-selling R&B girls group of all-time (take that, Destiny's Child) opened with an explosive rendition of "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg," featuring background dancers on stage dressed in football-themed costumes…and, you know, 3,000 more background dancers in the audience. As if the audience was not going to stand and dance like it's 1994, they're in their wide leg jeans, and their massive boom box is pushing full volume on their Oooooooh…On the TLC Tip cassette. TLC was in their presence! Singing for them! Stand up, scrubs!
Two things must be said about this TLC concert. First, T-Boz and Chilli look exactly the same as they did 20 years ago. These girls have not changed their look since the early '90s, which, let's be honest, is insane. (Remember what we looked like in the early '90s?) It'd also be creepy if they didn't look so damned good. Chilli is 42, which, when you see her abs, is enough to make you cry. Second, and this is important, the girls weren't what you would say, "good." It was unclear (very clear) whether they were singing live without a backing track. The dancing was silly verging on lame. But it absolutely did not matter at all. It was still the best concert ever. It was TLC! TLC!!! T!!! L!!! C!!!
They performed all their greatest hits. "Creep," "No Scrubs," and "Unpretty," obviously, were huge crowd pleasers. Their performance of "Red Light Special" was as hot as it was in 1995. Maybe more so. These are women now, not girls making Tipper Gore blush.
The climax of the show was "Waterfalls." If you ever wondered what 3,000 people all bobbing together with hunched shoulders from left to right--and then back again--that's exactly what happened when T-Boz and Chilli kicked off the iconic dance during the chorus. When it came time for Left Eye's rap, everyone wondered if an "L" replacement was on deck to surprise us. Lil' Mama, like at the American Music Awards? Lil' Kim, maybe? Lil' Wayne? It was a ballerina. She did not rap. But she was fun! And she was so clearly experiencing sheer bliss. Duh--she was dancing for T-Boz and Chilli during a live performance of "Waterfalls!"
"Thank you all for your love and support," T-Boz told the audience at the end of the set, making a gesture to heaven for Left Eye. (Tears.)
Oh, girl. You're welcome.