Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
A party atmosphere invaded the A-T-L as pop-rap juggernauts, Nelly, TLC and Flo Rida took it upon themselves to team up for a summer tour of epic proportions. With careers spanning dozens and dozens of years, these three megastars hold between them numerous chart-topping anthems of the highest caliber. That being said, thousands and thousands of fans packed the seats and general admission areas of the Cellairis Amphitheatre to catch glimpses from their favorite stars of yesteryear; and jam out to those wonderful tunes many of us have come to memorize and love.
The evening kicked off high-spiritedly thumping as Flo Rida got the party shaking. In the company of several talented backup dancers and some funky orange shades, Flo was up to the task of warming up the audience. It is almost too easy to forget just how many hip-swaying thumpers belong to Flo’s discography, but he made sure we all got reacquainted through singalongs and some good ol’ fashioned bottomless energy from Flo himself. The Florida-based artist had a few highlights during his hour-long set that included some crazy fan interaction and a piggyback ride by which Flo Rida made his way to the fans in the far back lawn areas. Fun is the name of Flo Rida’s game, and the man is a master player.
Up next was St. Louis’ favorite son, Nelly. The Country Grammar emcee stands tall and physically ripped. Wide smile on his face and colorful street wear for his getup, Nelly is simply a top notch entertainer. With quite a few tricks up his sleeve, Nelly not only takes his crowd down the path of Nellyville, but also invites Atlanta hometown hero, T.I., to cameo during his hour plus set. From “Hot In Herre” to “Dilemma,” Nelly struck a chord with his fan base and handed all those in house quite the lit experience.
Closing duties were handed to the ladies of TLC. Ms. Chilli and Ms. T-Boz were met with rousing cheers and heavy applause. Naturally, the famed group birthed in Atlanta received a little more oomph during those initial reactions. On stage and under beautiful strobes, the remaining TLC members are plenty active on the choreography end of things. Rifling through their greatest hits, the absence of the deceased Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes is constantly felt as video images from the past are displayed. In all, the ladies might be missing a huge piece to their legacy, but they carry on with such love and such joy.
Truth be told, this summer tour is one for the records. It runs full of fun, full of memorable numbers, full of cameos and exorbitant props. TLC, Nelly and Flo Rida have created one heck of a collaboration. Don’t be a fool, catch them live if given the chance.