Concert Review: S Club - Good Times Tour - Terminal 5, NYC

Concert Review: S Club - Good Times Tour - Terminal 5, NYC

Following our deep dive into S Club's (formerly S Club 7) career in our POP 101 episodes, the anticipation for their first-ever headlining concert in NYC reached fever pitch. Despite Terminal 5's notorious reputation for poor acoustics and layout, we arrived early, determined to secure a good spot and not let the venue's shortcomings dampen our spirits.

The pre-show atmosphere buzzed with excitement, heightened by a playlist of British pop classics—from Sugababes' "Too Lost in You" to Samantha Mumba's "Gotta Tell You." The moment S Club hit the stage, decked out in vibrant outfits and launching into a catchy mix of "S Club Party," the crowd was electrified. The group's palpable joy was mirrored by the audience's fervent energy, song after song.

Music director Simon Ellis’ expert touch was evident, particularly with a standout remix of "Alive." Despite the limitations of the small stage, S Club captivated with dynamic lighting, foregoing backup dancers, costume changes and screen visuals.

Jo’s handling of her back injury was admirable; she focused on vocals while the rest of the group took on the choreography. Her renditions of "Two In A Million" and "Have You Ever" showcased impressive vocal prowess. Rachel, Bradley, Tina, and Jon each had their moments to shine, revealing their unique skills. However, Rachel's decision to lip-sync throughout the show, including the track "Natural" was notably disappointing to fans.

A heartfelt tribute to Paul Cattermole with "Good Times" tugged at the heartstrings, reflecting on the group's storied past. The concert reached its zenith with "Never Had A Dream Come True" and an exhilarating remix of "S Club Party," leaving everyone in high spirits.

Despite Terminal 5’s acoustical challenges, which starkly highlighted the shift between pre-recorded and live vocals, S Club's performance rose above. The reliance on original background tracks from over two decades ago felt incongruous at times. A fresh take on the backing vocals could have enhanced the live feel.

Reflecting on the evening, the concert stood as a vibrant testament to S Club's enduring charm and their unique place in the US pop landscape—a feat all the more remarkable given their limited stateside promotion back in the day. The night was a joyous celebration, etching an unforgettable memory for all present.

Don't miss our POP 101 episodes for a comprehensive look into the entire journey of S Club.

Setlist:

  1. S Club Party
  2. Love Ain't Gonna Wait For You
  3. You're My Number One
  4. Natural
  5. Sunshine
  6. You
  7. Stronger
  8. Bring The House Down
  9. Friday Night
  10. Don't Stop Movin'
  11. Good Times
  12. Two In A Million
  13. Bring It All Back
  14. Have You Ever
  15. Alive
  16. Reach
    ---
  17. Never Had A Dream Come True
  18. S Club Party (Remix) 
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On April 19th, Webster Hall was filled with “FLO Lifers” eagerly awaiting the UK girl group FLO who are currently embarking on their “FLO Live” tour. Formed 2019, FLO consists of Jorja Douglas, Renee Downer, & Stella Quaresma. The group’s style distinctly derives from R&B and Hip-Hop from the 1990’s and early 2000s. For a more in-depth analysis FLO’s sound and trajectory watch here (https://youtu.be/i18hpBoW4EU)/ <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/i18hpBoW4EU" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Before FLO took the stage, Samaria, an Oakland R&B singer, opened the show. Samaria started with a simple backdrop featuring her name, keys, and drums. The audience seemed familiar with her music and if they were not, they were supportive and living in the moment. Samaria interacted with the audience well and related to them on the basis of terrible ex's and a journey through a toxic relationship. Samaria’s songs had interesting cadences, but what was  missing for us was backing vocals on the track to delineate verses from choruses. After doing some research we found that the “Out of the Way” singer has a sound also inspired by 00s R&B, with a some tracks tracks full of fun guitar licks and drum patterns reminiscent of Timbaland, but none of those instruments were present in her performance. Her backline consisted of a keyboardist and a drummer. Although Samaria sounded good, at times the keyboard’s volume was overpowering.  She worked the stage, nonetheless and  good job. 7.5 out of 10 ! ()SCORE

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https://www.instagram.com/samaria/?hl=en

samaria.lnk.to/shadyhills

Okland R&B Singer, Samaria as the opening act for FLO's tour "FLO Live." Samaria on stage singing with her band.Oakland R&B singer, Samaria performing on stage at Webster Hall as the opening act for FLO (Jorja, Renee and Stella) for their sold out "FLO Live" tour.

Next up was the much-anticipated FLO, and the girls opened with "Not My Job." They were all dressed in black with cute cutouts, and their outfits were shimmery (I love sparkle!) which was a welcome change from their wardrobe at the MOBO awards. Their faces were beat (we love a “natural glam”),

their vocals were tight, and their choreography was utilized well to highlight grooves. The chemistry between the girls was undeniable, and their vocal blend was seamless— absolutely chill-inducing. Jorja's thick vocal tone took the songs to a soulful place, and Stella's airy delivery allowed her to float at the top of the group's harmonies. Renee's smooth, warm alto voice added a coolness to their sound and gained a lot more stability in live singing. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention FLO’s band! The band consisted of some past schoolmates, which added another layer of charm to the whole set!

The absolute highlight of the show was "Losing You” In this live arrangement, the girls emoted and connected with the audience on a deeper level. Chris loved harmonized adlibs, brand new bridge and extra outdo including a guitar solo.  As a special treat, FLO performed a cover of Jamelia's version of "Superstar" by Christine Militon.  Even though a majority of the NYC crowd had no clue who Jamelia was and didn't know the song, the girls did teach the chorus before singing the song, so some fans were able to follow along. Chris and I certainly knew the song and even received compliments on synchronized impromptu choreography.

Speaking of choreo…

The girls' choreography was something we were curious to see, and they did not disappoint. They danced well, and they were given grooves as opposed to sharp movements that really complemented each member's personal style. In terms of technique, they aren’t K-pop idols so we weren’t expecting crazy formations and “point dances,” but you can tell they put in the work to provide another layer of entrainment to the experience. There was even some chair-ography for their performance of "Change," a new track about a lover's inability to "do the work" necessary to improve the condition of the relationship.

The girls did perform their latest single, "Fly Girl" ft Missy Elliot, and although Missy Elliot was present in the audience, she did not join the performance.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/flolikethis?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@flolikethis</a> big up to Flo out here in the states on the road working hard! Keep doing yall thizzzzle!!!🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flygirl?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Flygirl</a>💇🏾‍♀️💃🏾💅🏾 <a href="https://t.co/Qtgr2f2KBl">pic.twitter.com/Qtgr2f2KBl</a></p>&mdash; Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) <a href="https://twitter.com/MissyElliott/status/1649101483621728272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 20, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Fans (the FLO Lifers) were absolutely living their best lives! They knew all the words to FLO’s songs—the BGV's and the ad-libs. It was a room full of genuine love and screams! FLO closed the night with their debut single, "Cardboard Box," and this performance featured a heavenly bridge section.

Overall, the show was good, and for this to be the group's first headlining tour, we were impressed with the girls’ improvement from performances like the MOBO Awards, where nerves played a noticeable factor. FLO is worth the hype for sure, and we cannot wait to see the new era of girl groups being led by FLO. For their NYC debut, we rate them a 9 out of 10! FLO Lifers left Webster Hall with unforgettable memories and high expectations for FLO's future performances.