Destiny’s Child

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
August 28, 2001

Gold hot pants, a ring of fire and diva flair. Destiny’s Child had all that and more when the trio headlined MTV’s TRL Tour Sunday at the Tweeter Center.

The singers made a dramatic entrance from beneath a flame-lit portion of the stage. Their hot pants and matching boots (the first of several changes) were equally hot. Kicking the show off with “Independent Women Part I” (from Drew Barrymore’s girl- power movie “Charlie’s Angels,”), the young women showed off their vocal chops, curvy bodies and the best hair this side of Clairol.

MTV’s first-ever TRL tour didn’t make quite the impact the music channel was hoping for in the Chicago area. The Tweeter Center lawn was entirely empty.

Apparently not everybody was ready for Destiny.

Unlike on their first two albums, all three members share lead vocal credits on their latest, “Survivor,” which was co-written and co-produced by Beyonce Knowles. But make no mistake: Though she and Kelly Rowland may have started the group, Knowles is the primary destined child.

The trio knows it, too. The women recently appeared on the cover of Vibe magazine made up like vintage Supremes. Guess who got to be Diana Ross?

Not that she doesn’t deserve the adulation, or the specially designed frocks that subtly distinguish her from Rowland and the dulcet-voiced Michelle Williams. Tall, shapely and self-possessed, Knowles is a striking front woman who works the stage like a Tina Turner in training.

Backed by a five-man band and eight dancers–four of whom who had the word “Destiny” scrawled all over their briefs–Destiny’s Child performed a tight, 60-minute show. The hard rock intro was a fitting accompaniment to “Bootylicious,” which utilizes Stevie Nicks’ powerful, throbbing guitar lick from “Edge of Seventeen.” The women can vamp it up like nobody’s business in their rhinestone bras and purple capris, but their strengths lie in their voices. Each one sings better than the next.

Tackling the Bee Gees’ “Emotion,” the women harmonized like angels (though none hit notes as high as the brothers Gibb did singing backing vocals on that number way back when). On “Say My Name,” an empowering song in which Knowles challenges her boyfriend to utter her name in front of his new woman, the soft lilts take on a fierce growl.

At times, they took advantage of their vocals to adverse results. An a cappella gospel medley of “You’ve Been So Good,” “Now Behold the Lamb” and “Jesus Loves Me” would have been more effective if they had pared the musical gymnastics.

Of the five opening acts–Nelly, Eve, Dream, 3LW and City High–Nelly easily was a crowd favorite. Touring with his group St. Lunatics, the photogenic rapper got the young audience revved with self-described “Dirty South” cadences on tunes such as “E.I.” and “Ride Wit Me.”

During one number, the band members threw paper money into the crowd. Even the little girl sitting behind me was bright enough to figure out the bills were phony. But who cares? As she said, “It’s not real money, but it still came from Nelly.”

Like most of the other bands on the bill, Nelly paid homage to a fallen R&B star, asking the crowd to give “a peace sign up for Aaliyah.” 

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