Currently, ’90s R&B music is getting the treatment that old school Motown of the ’60s received from fans twenty years ago. Fans of present-day R&B generally condemn the current state of the music presently on radio, while yearning for the singing and sounds of the artists that they grew up with, back when high-top fades and designer shirts that contained every single color imaginable were the norm. And aside from maybe Boys II Men and Jodeci, Baltimore’s favorite sons, Dru Hill, represented that sound better than anyone.
The quartet—then trio, then quartet (again)—has had few line-up changes over the past twenty years, but three of its four founding members, Nokio, Sisqó and Jazz, arrived in Las Vegas with newbie Tao and reminded fans of the classic songs that made them one of the most successful groups of the ’90s. “Tell Me” was an instant delight; the group performed the song with their legendary “high step” dance move, that was also impersonated by most of the audience, including me. “Never Make a Promise,” “We’re Not Making Love No More” and “Beauty” were also well received.
The highlight of the show was when each individual member of the group got a chance to perform their own renditions of classic R&B songs. Jazz belted out a spirited version of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” while Sisqó gave the crowd his version of Jodeci’s “Forever My Lady.” With Tao’s rendition of Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk,” the singer demonstrated how he was able to land the gig as the new fourth member of Dru Hill. He wowed the audience with his monstrous vocal abilities, which filled the entire room.
The biggest surprise of the evening was Nokio’s solo performances of Prince’s “Darling Nikki” and “I Would Die 4 U,” where he left the audience in awe with his own abilities as a vocalist. But the show couldn’t end without a Sisqó solo set, as the singer was joined onstage by his dancers and performed the infamous “Thong Song,” much to the enjoyment of those in attendance who like twerking … and thongs. ★★★★✩
Photos by Erik Kabik Photography / MediaPunch