With Tony! Toni! Toné! and Troop
Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie
Sunday, June 21, 2015
It's been quite a while since Jodeci released a studio album — 20 years, in fact — but that's exactly what the "Bad Boys of R&B" did this March. The quartet's fourth studio album, The Past, The Present, The Future, which was partially co-produced by Timbaland and features appearances from the likes of B.o.B. and Liana Banks, debuted to mixed reviews. But that was hardly of much concern to the fans who flocked to Verizon Theatre on Sunday night. For them, simply getting to see the group reunited was all that mattered.
Considering the fact that this group has always been of the "baby makin' music" variety, it was no surprise that before to their set, many conversations involved the conception of some of the fans' children with Jodeci's lyrical assistance. The group hinted at a "real special" Father's Day via social media, and they didn't disappoint.
From the moment the lights dimmed and the fog thickened inside the theater, this Father's Day was clearly all about appreciating the ladies. The crowd was mostly female, and as the four singers assumed their perfectly choreographed positions, their adoring fans went wild. Women rushed the stage, clambering over one another to get the perfect selfie.
The group dove into the classics, "Come and Talk to Me," "Feenin'" and "Freek'N You," which with each opening beat drove the crowd into shrieks of pure '90s pleasure. As each song ended, the four singers returned to their designated starting points, backs turned to the audience, awaiting the intro of the the next track. Fans were also treated to the group's latest single, "Every Moment," along with "Those Things" and "Jennifer" from The Past, The Present, The Future.
The names of group members were being shouted from the audience as if they were competing on American Idol. Each of the singers had their own devoted groupies, and some arguments sprung up over which member was the hottest amid the flurry of washboard abs, hip gyrations and Miley Cyrus tongue action. (By my count, DeVante and his man-bun won by a long way.)
K-Ci (of K-Ci and Jojo fame) and DeVante Swing seemed to be in a crooning battle of sorts throughout the evening, tirelessly appeasing their female fans by singling many out, taking their hands and singing to them individually. At one point, K-Ci even jumped off of the stage and ran through the audience, stopping momentarily with fans to sing along with them.
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The show was full of some surprises as well. Toward the end of the evening, K-Ci took a moment to give a shout-out to the legendary Tupac, followed by a short cover of "How Do U Want It." And during their performance of "My Heart Belongs to You," the group added an impromptu remix that included Drake's "How About Now."
All in all, Sunday night reminded us of a simpler time, when matching outfits and choreographed dance moves were cool and air grinding was seductive, not trashy. Sure, some may say that the new Jodeci album is too predictable, and they're probably right. But that predictability was just what the fans wanted Sunday, right down to the choreography, and it was exactly what they got.