In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t already heard, Xscape is back like they never left.
With the beloved 90s girl group spending the earlier part of 2017 successfully drumming up fan anticipation about what would become of their long-awaited reunion, the latter part of the year has been a whirlwind of “show and prove” for the ladies — and they’ve been more than delivering as they hit the road for The Great Xscape Tour.
There was hardly an empty seat in the house when the tour touched down in New Jersey at Newark’s Prudential Center — which seats just over 18,000— as fans filled the venue for a night filled with endless Black Girl Magic moments, just one day before the airing of the finale episode of the “Xscape: Still Kickin It” docuseries on Bravo.
Before Tameka “Tiny” Harris, LaTocha Scott, Kandi Burruss and Tamika Scott took to the stage, an impressive lineup of both seasoned R&B veterans and talented new voices warmed things up for the crowd. First up was Tiny’s 21-year-old daughter Zonnique, who brought nonstop energy as she gave attendees a taste of her latest project, Love Jones, before turning things up a notch with a little choreography.
R&B darlings June’s Diary graced the stage next to do what they do best, wowing the audience with their flawless harmonies and effortless dance routines. The fivesome most certainly held their own to kick off the night, with a performance that included several of their fan-favorites, as well as a few of their signature renditions of hit songs from other music icons.
Next, powerhouse songstress Tamar Braxton lit the stage on fire with her performance, which featured an emotional delivery of her new single “Blind.”
Finally, ATL songbird Monica rounded out the pre-Xscape lineup and had the crowd singing along to nearly every word as she ran through her classics, including “Why I Love You So Much,” “Angel Of Mine,” “Everything To Me,” and “So Gone.” She also took a moment to honor Newark’s own Lauryn Hill with a quick medley of her biggest songs.
As expected, the highlight of the night came by way of a phenomenal performance from the ladies of the evening, with the entire audience remaining on their feet for much of Xscape’s set, which was equal parts nostalgic and filled with several nods to the undeniable impact that the group has had on today’s music scene even in their absence.
Among several unforgettable Xscape moments that had fans talking long after the event ended was the group’s a capella performance of the traditional Gospel music hymn “Give Me Clean Heart,” which allowed the group to remind the audience that the carefully crafted harmonies everyone fell in love with two decades ago are very much still in tact.
Another highlight came by way of Tiny, who received a standing ovation, mid-song, as she belted out her verse from the group’s infamous single “Tonight.”
As the concert neared its’ end, the foursome got a chance the share their fun-loving sides as wives with fans during a segment that saw Kandi invite her husband Todd on stage for a quick serenade to the tune of “Work Me Slowly.”
Mean while, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” provided the soundtrack for the on-stage moment between Tamika Scott and her husband, while Tiny and Tocha each gave the audience a preview of what goes on with their husbands behind closed doors to the tune of music from Keith Sweat and Cardi B.
A break in the show also allowed for each group member to shine individually with performances of their own original music. All in all, the R&B divas did not disappoint they ran through seemingly every classic in their catalogue including hits like “Just Kickin It, “Do You Want To,” “Who Can I Run To?” “Run To The Arms Of The One Who Loves You,” “Feels So Good,” My Little Secret” and “Understanding.”
The Great Xscape Tour kicked off November 22 in Richmond Virginia and will run through the first week in January, where the ladies will close things out in L.A.