Shaggy, TLC and En Vogue Leaned into Balmy Nostalgia in Toronto

Budweiser Stage, June 15

With Sean Kingston

Photo: Matt Forsythe

BY Vernon AyikuPublished Jun 16, 2023

Shaggy, TLC, En Vogue and special guest Sean Kingston brought a joyful throwback party to Toronto's Budweiser Stage, leading the audience back to the '90s and early 2000s for a night of uncomplicated nostalgia. 

Kicking off the night, Sean Kingston sang to a half-full crowd after the doors opened. However, the sparse attendance didn't stop him from being one of the most memorable acts of the evening, reminding everyone in attendance that there was a time when he ruled the radio airwaves. He performed throwback hits like "Fire Burning," "Eenie Meenie," "Me Love," and, of course, "Beautiful Girls," setting a light-hearted tone for the flurry of hits to follow.  

Next up was En Vogue, officially billed as an opener. There wasn't an empty seat in the house for the influential '90s R&B trio, who were draped in shiny gold outfits and accompanied by sharp backup dancers. Even with only two of the four original members, the trio of ladies — Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron and Rhona Bennett — still had a headlining presence as they performed an old-school Motown-inspired set with class and grace. Ellis and Herron never missed a beat, while Bennett more than held her own as the most junior member of the group.

TLC hit the stage next, with the sky finally dark and the rain holding out. Kicking the concert into another gear starting with "Baby-Baby-Baby," T-Boz and Chilli were still energetic, keeping up with their backup dancers and using the entire stage. Stealing the show was T-Boz's distinct raspy vocals, and while the set started slowly, the undeniable power of the group's catalogue made up for it. The entire crowd sang along to the closing triplet of "Creep," "No Scrubs" and, finally, "Waterfalls" — and while "No Scrubs" and "Waterfalls" are the group's biggest hits, hearing the horns before they performed "Creep" just hit differently among a 16,000-person crowd, almost to the point that I was worried Shaggy wouldn't be able to follow.

Turns out that fear was totally unsubstantiated — Shaggy knocked it out of the park as the closer. With just charisma and energy, the reggae singer did an hour-long set that got increasingly not-for-kids as things went on. Hitting "Mr. Boombastic" second in the setlist, the crowd wasn't as familiar with his catalogue as with TLC's. However, the amount of fun he was having on stage was too infectious not to dance. 

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