FanMail Tour

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FanMail Tour
Tour by TLC
TLC 1999TourPoster.jpg
Promotional poster for tour
Associated album FanMail
Start date October 22, 1999 (1999-10-22)
End date January 29, 2000 (2000-01-29)
Legs 2
No. of shows 33 in North America
TLC concert chronology

The FanMail Tour is the debut headlining tour by American group TLC. The tour support their third studio album, FanMail. The tour visited North America with dates planned in Japan and Europe. However, the international dates after the second North American leg were cancelled, due to member Lisa Lopes' Honduras trip.

Background[edit]

TLC went on a nationwide tour simply named The FanMail Tour after their album. Most dates of the tour were sold out. TLC performed all their hits. The tightly choreographed concert featured a five-piece band, seven dancers, cybertechnics, and a giant-screen android named "Virtual Vic-E".[1] On September 27, 1999, TLC donated an exclusive track entitled "I Need That" to MP3.com, that the fans could download from the company's website for free. In exchange, MP3.com sponsored the tour and donated ten cents to the Sickle Cell Disease Association each time the song was downloaded.[2][3]

At the time, TLC had to address the incessant rumors that they were breaking up. Lisa Lopes told the New York Daily News, "A lot of people are under the impression that I'm leaving the group. That's not the case..." She also added, "The magic of the group has everything to do with the chemistry between myself, Tionne and Chilli...with TLC, it's like, if there wasn't something going wrong, it just wouldn't be right."[4] The tour wrapped up in their hometown of Atlanta, months after Super Bowl XXXIV took place. Mayor Bill Campbell gave the group a key to the city and declared January 29 "TLC Day".

On March 18, 2000, the group had a PayPerView special of the full live show in Atlanta, called TLC: Sold Out.

A few performances from their concert at MCI Center, Washington, D.C. on January 23, 2000 have later been included on their Japanese compilation TLC 20: 20th Anniversary Hits (2013).

Concert synopsis[edit]

The show was divided into five acts plus an encore. It began with a futuristic theme and an introduction by the giant screen android, "Virtual Vic-E", welcoming the audience to the show. After the video ends, all 3 members rise from the stage, each in different silver clothing to perform "FanMail" as well as "Silly Ho" and "If They Knew". The backup dancers wore purple raincoats and pants.[5] The first leg of the tour featured the girls wearing butterfly-themed outfits, but they were quickly replaced with the silver outfits for unknown reasons. After the end of "If They Knew", Lopes revealed a bag of mail received from fans in the city, and promised that she and the other members would read through it later in the show.

The show continued with the Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip era, in which the members performed "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg", "What About Your Friends" and "Baby-Baby-Baby", dressed in white overalls surrounded with multi-colored spray paint in homage to their early image. Lopes also wore large pink sunglasses and a pacifier around her neck.[6]

Shortly before the beginning of the CrazySexyCool era, Vic-E detected an intruder backstage. The intruder, a man in a black hooded costume, revealed himself as an evil villain. He spotted the bag of fanmail and proceeded to steal it, leaving the band and the backup dancers too later to stop him. However, they barely had any time to mull it over, when TLC returned to perform "Creep" shortly after, unaware of the theft, with Lopes, Watkins and Thomas wearing silk pajamas, very similar to the ones they wore in the "Creep" music video. The backup dancers also wore pajamas. Lopes and Thomas each had their own platform on both ends of the stage, while Watkins was in the middle of the main stage. All girls were eventually on the main stage to perform Lopes' rap. Right after the song, "Red Light Special" followed, which again featured Lopes and Thomas on their separate platforms, but instead sitting on a chair and Watkins on the main stage. Several female dancers also sat on chairs, dancing seductively.[7]

The solos of each member followed shortly after the dance interlude of "Housequake", starting with Left Eye, performing an unreleased rap entitled "Crazy". She also did several magic tricks and played the keyboard. Then followed Chilli's solo, dressed as a cowgirl to perform "Come on Down". She was also accompanied by several female dancers also dressed as cowgirls. After the song, she was then lowered down the main stage. She re-emerged wearing a new costume which she, along with the rest of the members, then wore until the end of the concert. She would then pick a man from the audience and begin to perform "I Miss You So Much" with the man sitting on a chair and Chilli singing to him. T-Boz was last to perform her solo, appearing on stage dressed in a purple suit with a wooden cane to sing the first lines of the famous military march chant, "I Don't Know (But I Been Told)". She would then remove her suit to reveal a costume similar to Chilli's during the performance of "I Miss You So Much", to sing "If I Was Your Girlfriend", "Touch Myself" and" Dear Lie".

After the girls' solos was Act 4, entitled Rain. "Unpretty" was the first song of the act, which featured many children from the audience who came up to sing with them. "I'm Good at Being Bad", "Shout" and "My Life" was performed after.[8]

Act 5 commenced with Lopes finally noticing the missing bag of fanmail, and the group were informed by the band and the audience that the evil villain took it. Disappointed, the girls would turn to Vic-E, who would explain that the letters wouldn't reveal the full strength of the bond between TLC and the fans, and assure the audience that TLC loves them. The girls then performed their signature song, "Waterfalls". The giant screen showed clips from the music video and water running. Backup dancers wore different colored shirts.

During the last show of the tour in Atlanta, Goodie Mob made a special appearance to perform their song with TLC, "What it Ain't". "No Scrubs" was the final song of the show, which had Watkins and Lopes on the end platforms of the stage and Thomas on the main stage, with a dancer trying to give his number to her. They would all eventually end up back on the main stage together to perform Left Eye's rap on the song. Just as the song was ending, the bag of fanmail returned. There was a note attached to it from the evil villain, apologising for the theft, and explaining that he had written to them hundreds of times and they never wrote back. He reveals that he bought some T-shirts as an apology gift and placed them in the bag. The girls proceeded to hand out the T-shirts to the audience and to thank the crowd. All backup dancers then joined hands with Lopes, Watkins and Thomas to end the show.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

The tour received very positive reviews from critics. Natalie Nichols of the Los Angeles Times described the Anaheim show as: "...a thoroughly 21st century pop concert, with all the razzle-dazzle and sense of fun you'd expect [...] TLC delighted fans while underscoring the staying power that has made it the best-selling female trio in history [...] a seven-piece band managed to stay out of the way, playing TLC's blend of soul, hip-hop, funk and pop with surprising verve...However, this was one modern multi-platinum act that had plenty of meat to match the sizzle".

Darryl Morden of the The Hollywood Reporter described the New York City show as, "Smart, sexy, stylish, sweet, daring, dazzling and diverse, the 100-minute performance Friday night was full of flash but grounded in personal charisma. Effects and gimmickry took a back seat to old-fashioned, engaging showmanship".

Variety's Troy Augusto described it as "an exciting evening of singing and dancing that delivered all of their hit songs in charming fashion".

Gene Stout of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer added, "Pent-up demand for the Atlanta-based trio's incendiary blend of pop, hip-hop and R&B made the evening a celebration."

However, Craig Seymour of Entertainment Weekly states, "...there were occasional signs of the strife that has divided Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes from her band mates Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas and Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins. At various points during the show, Chilli and T-Boz high-fived each other while ignoring Left Eye. Left Eye, in turn, strutted past the other two as if they were merely set pieces to avoid. Things heated up during a particularly aggressive rendition of 'What About Your Friends' when T-Boz appeared to glare at Left Eye while singing the lyrics, What about your friends/Will they let you down/Will they be around?".

Opening Acts[edit]

Set list[edit]

Act 1: The Future

  • "Vic-E Opening Intro" (Video Introduction)
  • "FanMail"
  • "The Vic-E Interpretation – Interlude"
  • "Silly Ho"
  • "If They Knew"

Act 2: Ooooooohhh... On The TLC Tip

Act 3: CrazySexyCool

Act 4: Rain

Act 5: The Meaning of FanMail

Act 6: Encore

  • "What it Ain't" (Special Performance in Atlanta)
  • "No Scrubs"

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
North America[13][14][15][16][17]
October 22, 1999 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre
October 23, 1999 Montreal Molson Centre
October 25, 1999 Ottawa Corel Centre
October 27, 1999 Grand Rapids United States Van Andel Arena
October 29, 1999 Fairborn Nutter Center
October 31, 1999 Baltimore Baltimore Arena
November 2, 1999 Greenville BI-LO Center
November 5, 1999 Raleigh Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena
November 7, 1999 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
November 9, 1999 Toledo Savage Hall
November 12, 1999 Hartford Hartford Civic Center
November 13, 1999 Providence Providence Civic Center
November 16, 1999 Cleveland Gund Arena
November 18, 1999 Cleveland CSU Convocation Center
November 20, 1999 Pittsburgh Civic Arena
November 22, 1999 Milwaukee Bradley Center
November 26, 1999 Minneapolis Target Center
November 28, 1999 St. Louis Kiel Center
December 1, 1999 Houston Compaq Center
December 3, 1999 Phoenix America West Arena
January 3, 2000 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
January 5, 2000 Oakland The Arena in Oakland
January 7, 2000 Anaheim Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim
January 8, 2000 Oakland The Arena in Oakland
January 10, 2000 Seattle KeyArena
January 11, 2000 Portland Rose Garden
January 16, 2000 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills
January 20, 2000 Boston FleetCenter
January 21, 2000 New York City Madison Square Garden
January 23, 2000 Washington, D.C. MCI Center
January 25, 2000 Philadelphia First Union Center
January 27, 2000 Sunrise National Car Rental Center
January 29, 2000 Atlanta Philips Arena
Cancellations and rescheduled shows
October 12, 1999 Winnipeg, Canada Winnipeg Arena Cancelled
October 15, 1999 Montreal, Canada Molson Centre Rescheduled to October 23, 1999
October 16, 1999 Toronto, Canada Air Canada Centre Rescheduled to October 22, 1999
October 21, 1999 Greenville, South Carolina BI-LO Center Rescheduled to November 2, 1999
October 23, 1999 Sunrise, Florida National Car Rental Center Cancelled
October 27, 1999 Raleigh, North Carolina Dorton Arena Rescheduled to November 5, 1999 and moved to the Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena
October 29, 1999 Auburn Hills, Michigan The Palace of Auburn Hills Cancelled
October 31, 1999 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania First Union Center Cancelled
November 3, 1999 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Civic Arena Rescheduled to November 20, 1999
November 5, 1999 Uniondale, New York Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Cancelled
November 7, 1999 Cleveland, Ohio Gund Arena Rescheduled to November 18, 1999 and moved to the CSU Convocation Center
November 9, 1999 Boston, Massachusetts FleetCenter Cancelled
November 14, 1999 Washington, D.C. MCI Center Cancelled
November 18, 1999 Cincinnati Firstar Center Cancelled
November 20, 1999 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Target Center Rescheduled to November 26, 1999
November 24, 1999 Indianapolis, Indiana Market Square Arena Moved to the Conseco Fieldhouse
November 24, 1999 Indianapolis, Indiana Conseco Fieldhouse Cancelled
November 26, 1999 Rosemont, Illinois Allstate Arena Cancelled
November 30, 1999 St. Charles, Missouri Family Arena Cancelled
December 4, 1999 Las Vegas, Nevada MGM Grand Garden Arena Rescheduled to December 5, 1999
December 5, 1999 Las Vegas, Nevada MGM Grand Garden Arena Cancelled
December 6, 1999 Tacoma, Washington Tacoma Dome Cancelled
December 9, 1999 Los Angeles Staples Center Cancelled
December 11, 1999 Oakland, California The Arena in Oakland Cancelled
December 15, 1999 Houston, Texas Compaq Center Rescheduled to December 1, 1999
December 16, 1999 New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans Arena Cancelled
December 18, 1999 Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte Coliseum Cancelled
December 19, 1999 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena Cancelled
January 14, 2000 Rosemont, Illinois Allstate Arena Cancelled
January 18, 2000 Cleveland, Ohio CSU Convocation Center Cancelled
February 27, 2000 Nagoya, Japan Nagoya Rainbow Hall Cancelled
March 1, 2000 Osaka, Japan Osaka-jō Hall Cancelled
March 2, 2000 Osaka Osaka-jō Hall Cancelled
March 4, 2000 Yokohama, Japan Yokohama Arena Cancelled
March 6, 2000 Tokyo, Japan Yoyogi National Gymnasium Cancelled
March 8, 2000 Tokyo, Japan Yoyogi National Gymnasium Cancelled
March 12, 2000 Cologne, Germany Kölnarena Cancelled
March 13, 2000 Rotterdam, Netherlands Ahoy Rotterdam Cancelled
March 15, 2000 Birmingham, England National Indoor Arena Cancelled
March 16, 2000 London, England Wembley Arena Cancelled
March 18, 2000 Dublin, Ireland Point Theatre Cancelled

Personnel[edit]

Band

  • Dallas Austin – Keyboards
  • Thomas Martin – Guitar
  • Thomas Knight – Drums
  • Ethan Farmer – Bass
  • Eric Daniels – Keyboard/MD

Choreographer

  • Devyne

Dancers

  • Oththan Burnside
  • Jamaica Craft
  • Ray Johnson
  • Aakomon Jones
  • Shannon Lopez
  • Dean Pagtakhan
  • Kevin White

Production manager

  • Jason Scianno
  • Tanya Greenblatt

Wardrobe and stylist

  • Julie Mijarcs
  • Laurie Chang (Assistant stylist)

Tour production manager

  • Dale "Opie" Skjerseth

Stage designer

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brodginski, Todd; Cagan, Amanda (October 10, 1999). "SELL OUT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AS SECOND LEG OF 'FANMAIL' TOUR GENERATES CRITICAL ACCLAIM; "TLC DAY" DECLARED IN HOMETOWN OF ATLANTA THIS SUPER BOWL WEEKEND; GROUP ADDRESSES BREAK-UP RUMORS; ATLANTA PERFORMANCE TO FEATURE OPENING ARTIST SELECTED FROM MP3.COM;" (Press release). Mitch Schneider Organization. Archived from the original on March 6, 2001. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Evans, Rob (September 27, 1999). "TLC, Destiny's Child Lock In Fall Tour Schedule". LiveDaily. Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on December 4, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/517742/tlc-announce-tour-post-new-song-at-mp3com/
  4. ^ Brodginski, Todd; Wang, Maggie; Cagan, Amanda (January 4, 2000). "'FANMAIL' CD GENERATES EIGHT GRAMMY NOMINATIONS INCLUDING PRESTIGIOUS 'ALBUM OF THE YEAR,' 'RECORD OF THE YEAR' AND 'SONG OF THE YEAR'; SECOND LEG OF 'FANMAIL' TOUR IS SET TO KICK OFF FRIDAY, JANUARY 7 IN ANAHEIM, California" (Press release). Mitch Schneider Organization. Archived from the original on March 6, 2001. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTNWxgiFImA&feature=related
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXGrIVHTARo&feature=related
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MB9LKFsP3E&feature=related
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfANqVbgBaM&feature=related
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=229YTUqGM1g&feature=related
  10. ^ a b c d Duncanwith, Andréa; Gill, John (October 26, 1999). "TLC Kicks Off Tour As T-Boz Prepares To Get Animated". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ Pareles, Jon (January 24, 2000). "POP REVIEW; A Girl Group That Takes No Prisoners In Love". The New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Tina; Basham, David (September 13, 1999). "TLC Taps Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child For World Tour". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ Evans, Rob (October 8, 1999). "TLC Adds New Supporting Act For National Tour". LiveDaily. Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on November 27, 1999. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ Brodginski, Todd; Schneider, Mitch; Cagan, Amanda (October 10, 1999). "TLC ANNOUNCES DATES FOR FIRST EVER HEADLINING TOUR 'UNPRETTY' SINGLE FROM QUADRUPLE PLATINUM 'FANMAIL' CD HIT #1, MP3.COM-SPONSORED TOUR TO BENEFIT NATIONAL AND LOCAL CHARITIES" (Press release). Mitch Schneider Organization. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  15. ^ Manning, Kara (November 1, 1999). "TLC Taps Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child For 2000 Tour". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ Mancini, Robert (September 27, 1999). "TLC Gets Charitable With Tour Announcement". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Mancini, Robert (September 27, 1999). "TLC's Chilli Gets Reacquainted With The Silver Screen". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved November 13, 2013.