The Great Xscape Tour Was One Place I Didn't Want To Return From
By Isha Thorpe
November 28, 2017
Saturday (Nov. 25) was one hell of a night. I ventured out to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and got my everlasting existence at The Great Xscape Tour featuring the 1990s R&B group, music legend Monica and vocal powerhouse Tamar Braxton.
Let’s backtrack a bit to earlier in 2017. In February, news broke that after over 18 years of separation, Xscape's Kandi Burruss-Tucker and Tamika Scott had buried the hatchet and the group was finally back together. As soon as people heard this announcement, everyone quickly began asking what the group was going to produce in honor of their reunion. When’s new music dropping? When’s the tour? Can we at least get a new single or music video??? Things were in a whirlwind.
It was almost two decades since we’ve seen all four members; Kandi, Tamika, Tiny and LaTocha together again, and everyone wanted the foursome to make up for lost time. Not too long after the announcement, X started performing at concerts here and there. From the Essence Festival, BET Awards, their biopic, reality TV show and more; X was giving their fans – who’ve waited years for their return – everything they longed for and more.
That’s why everyone was so excited when The Great Xscape Tour was announced. Within minutes after I heard about it, I knew I had to reach out and cop tickets…and that I did. This was a couple of months ago. So, imagine my surprise when I was chilling with the fam and eating leftovers on Black Friday night when I got the email that I was confirmed for two review tickets seated right in front of the stage, the night before the group’s Prudential Center show! I almost choked on a spare rib!
The next day, I headed out to Newark to a show that was, without a doubt, one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever been to. Tiny’s daughter, Zonnique, as well as June’s Diary were the concert’s opening acts. Then, things got turnt.
After the audience was warmed up, Tamar Braxton and all of her edge-snatching glory hit the stage. The chanteuse didn’t let the messy divorce she’s now going through with estranged hubby and manager Vince Herbert stop her shine. In fact, she seemed to pull from the experience to give fans the best show possible. While onstage, Tay Tay started things off with “Hot Sugar” before maneuvering to other hits like “The One,” “All The Way Home,” “Love & War” and more. It wouldn’t be Tamar Braxton if she didn’t throw some level of shade, though. As she was speaking about her divorce, she confirmed that it was 100% real and not a publicity stunt. Tay Tay also told the audience that she’s going through the separation to let Herbert know and appreciate what he’s had all along. Boom!
You could definitely tell the singer was excited to be onstage. In an exclusive interview with iHeartRadio last month, Braxton expressed how over the moon she was about the tour. "Oh my God, I'm so excited! Like, who gets to say they get to tour with their best friend?" the Bluebird Of Happiness artist told us. "It's just crazy that Tiny and I talked about doing things like this when we were younger and it's just amazing that we are in a place in our lives that we can actually really do it. So, I'm just really fortunate."
Following Braxton, my favorite, most dearest singer to my heart graced the stage: MOONIICCAAAAA! Isn’t she everything? * Inserts a billion heart eye emojis *
The beauty added a little bit extra to her set than Braxton because she had more time with her loving fans. While commanding the stage – and our souls – Monica performed some of her many classics such as “Why I Love You So Much,” “Angel Of Mine,” “Don’t Take It Personal,” “For You I Will,” “So Gone,” “Before You Walk Out My Life” and more. Along with the classic tracks, of course Monica had to come correct with the slayage of her different outfit changes. She didn't come to play.
From her sophisticated gangsta look, to her sexy lingerie look; Monica’s outfits gave us life. Before she left the stage, the star gave a special shout out to Lauryn Hill and her idol and mentor, the late Whitney Houston. After all, both Hill and Houston are from Jersey. So, Monica felt obliged to show them love, even though she praises Houston every single second she gets the chance, whether onstage or off.
What was left of my edges was for Xscape, as I awaited their headlining set to commence. Then, they did…
Xscape came out onstage and completely showed out! From performing “Love On My Mind,” “Who Can I Run To,” “Understanding,” “Just Kickin’ It,” “My Little Secret,” “Do You Want To,” and SO much more; they killed the stage. During the start of their show, X was reminiscent of their beginning days and rocked baggy attire. Then, the four now-mature women got their grown and sexy on by having their dancers rip off these baggy looks to show more bawwdyyyyy with their bedazzled bodysuits. Sidebar: During a small portion of their set, X made sure to cover up in church gowns when they sang a Gospel song or two. Won't he do it?
One thing that was great about their set was the feel of it. It was like a big family reunion. Not only were the four sisters back together, but also they were reuniting with their longtime fans, who are extended relatives. It was a celebration! There were moments that each of the four members did their own thing and sang their own, previously released singles to more personally connect with the crowd on a solo level; as well as times where they brought out members of their families – more specifically their husbands – to bring us more laughs and fun times.
But, let me not forget when Tiny showed a video clip of herself and husband T.I. arguing about infidelity in their marriage before she walked out and did her solo 2014 song “What The F You Gonna Do,” which was aimed at the rapper back then for past cheating allegations. The clip was a piece of their "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" season finale trailer. Yikes. Tiny had zero chill.
And yes, X also had moments when they were on their Cardi B flows and twerked to “Bodak Yellow” and “No Limit” like real ones. It couldn't be a family reunion without these lit times.
The ending of the show was simply beautiful. Together, the foursome harmonized, and all smiled and gave each other a large group hug, before thanking everyone for coming out. I honestly didn’t want the show to end. The Great Xscape Tour was one place I didn't want to leave.
Excellent job, ladies.