(Palace of Auburn Hills, MI – 08/14/05)
Destiny's Child rose to become one of the most popular female R&B groups of the late '90s, eventually rivaling even TLC in terms of blockbuster commercial success. Tonight, on their 'Destiny Fulfilled' tour here at the Palace of Auburn Hills, their musical accomplishments were supposedly on show as a group for the last time before a band break up ... but based on what they gave to their fans, I find it hard to believe that a career end is in sight for this powerhaus group!
Having said that, and in what could well have been their final Detroit appearance as a group, Destiny's Child's charged brand of female empowerment was quickly brought to the fore tonight in no uncertain terms.
Rising up through the stage via three trap doors amid a swirl of dry ice, the girls - Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams - began the near two hour show by reaching back in time. Swingin' a hit out of the park from the off, they launched into their 1999 mega hit 'Say My Name' before 'Independent Women, Pt. 1,' 'No, No, No,' 'Bills, Bills, Bills,' and 'Bootylicious.'
For the entire show here last night, a veritable greatest hits performance, each and every song they sang just helped remind everyone of this group's chart dominance these past seven years. Culling from the time when they were a quartet ('Jumpin, Jumpin,' etc.) on through to the latter days with 'Survivor,' the R&B girl-group shone brightly for the 10,000, predominantly female audience.
As the hits and the popular album cuts came tumblin' out, the show itself provided by the girls from Texas was, as expected, polished, beautiful, energetic, and visually a dancing masterclass. Add to that the fact that their voices were as tightly-locked to one anothers harmonies that you couldn't tell them apart during choruses, and you know that the world where hip-hop, meets pop, meets gospel was a thriving one.
With a highly-charged opening under their belts, over the following periods of time the incredible energy was maintained on a constant level - each and every pre-requisite of a wardrobe change by both the trio and their en mass of dancers bringing something fresh and vibrant to the performance.
Slowing things down midway through, the girls brought three lucky men up on stage from the crowd. Positioning them for the audience to see clearly, the ladies then went through a painstakingly long (and seemingly slow) routine where they sang 'Cater 2 U' to them. Perhaps brought in to allow them all to get their breath back, the elongated moment just seemed a little too, well, staged!
But the powerhaus group were back up and running again shortly thereafter as both Williams and Rowland took turns in the spotlight. The latter lending her impressively-ranged voice to the hit 'Dilemma' as fans eagerly filled Nelly's parts. But, and as everyone in the house could have expected, it was Beyonce who got to shine the brightest in the solo spotlight. Delivering energy-charged renditions of such solo smashes as 'Dangerously in Love' and 'Crazy,' the show was brought into its final bend.
Encoring for the packed house with an absolutely storming version of 'Survivor,' and following that up with 'Lose My Breath' - the opening cut from their latest, and possibly last CD - Destiny's Child the band may well have called time on themselves, but it was very evident here tonight that without this trio on our stages, that the soul of pop-R&B is going to be void never truly fulfilled ever again.
Reviewed by Russell A. Trunk