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Nelly, TLC, and Flo Rida Bring The Party To Blossom

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In what felt like an MTV Spring Break telecast from the mid 1990s, the trifecta of acts consisting of Flo Rida, TLC, and Nelly hit Blossom Music Center for a great three-hour gig on Thursday night. 

The mid-August evening was perfect; the weather was balmy; not a hint of humidity was in the air and the mostly-female, mostly middle-aged audience was high on the night air, among other things.

Opener Flo Rida did a raucous hour set that got the MTV vibe going.  His repeated cry of "Hands in the air!," got the crowd pumped.  If anything, he's a spirited performer with a large amount of aerobic energy; he didn't stand in a single spot for more than two seconds.  Offering "Right Round" early in his thirteen-tune set, the crowd was already on its feet, bouncing in unison to Flor Rida and his dancers. Ending the set with a triple punch of "Wild Ones," My House," and "Snack," he really primed the pump for the acts to follow.

Georgia-founded megastars of the late '90s, TLC, took to the stage in an odd pairing.  Lisa "Left Eye"Lopez,  who passed away in a freak vehicular accident in Honduras, was a major part of the trio's success.  Her absence was felt when the band's two surviving members, Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins came to the stage.  Adorned by a myriad of dancers, the duo belted out fifteen tunes in their hourlong set. Towards their encore, the duo offered "Creep" and "No Scrubs," two of their most well-known hits.

 Left Eye's absence didn't go unnoticed; towards the end of the show T-Boz gave a shout out to Lopez and asked the crowd to wave their cell phones in the air--the modern equivalent of a lighter--in memory of the late diva.  They then launched into a great rendition of "Waterfalls." It's hard to continue as a successful pop trio when one of its members passes away; I suppose that Thomas and Watkins have done the best they can without replacing Lopez.  However, a somber tone dominated their time on stage as Lopez's absence was felt during some of the harmonies.

By the time Nelly hit the stage, the place was a veritable house party.  The St. Louis-bred rapper came out in a white, hand-painted sweatshirt reminiscent of the 1980s' fashion trends of, well, white, over-sized, hand painted sweatshirts, Nelly rolled right into "Party People" with a flotilla of dancers surrounding him. Offering up "Shake Ya Tailfeather" and "Country Grammar" early in the set, he surprised with "Cruise," a Florida Georgia Line cover.

Relying heavily on tunes pulled from early efforts Country Grammar and Nellyville, the early oughts albums produced a bevy of hits, and the crowd knew them all. Closing out with "Dilemma" and "Just A Dream," the crowd, now sweating and dripping with smiles, made its collective way to Blossom's exits.

Review and Photos by Brian M. Lumley


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