By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | September 30, 2021
TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins giggles when she talks about the venue she’s calling from, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion.
“This venue that we’re at is one of the crew’s favorites,” Watkins says. “Right now, my 6-year-old son, Chance, is riding his Big Wheel as the dancers ride bicycles around the venue.”
Chance is touring around the United States with his mom and her musical partner in crime, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, as TLC celebrates its 1994 diamond-certified album “CrazySexyCool.” The ’90s-themed shows will feature fan interaction, ’90s fashion, surprise guests and performances by Bone Thugs N’ Harmony.
Touring with Bone Thugs N’ Harmony is important, Watkins says.
“I love that we, as women and artists, can perform with rappers,” she says. “I think that’s awesome. Some girl groups may not be able to do that. I love that we can get down with the guys.”
On the set list, fans can expect No. 1 singles like “Waterfalls” and “Creep.”
“We’ve wanted to celebrate ‘CrazySexyCool’ for a while,” Thomas says. “Before the pandemic hit, we were supposed to have done it in the fall. Everything hit, and when everything started to open back up, that window was there.”
The concerts conjure emotions that range from happy to sad tears for TLC and its fans.
“The emotions are so amazing to watch throughout the show,” Watkins says. “It depends on the song that hits people the most.”
As for Watkins and Thomas, they don’t have favorite songs, but they’re excited to play a song that’s rarely on the set list — “Case of the Fake People.”
“It’s refreshing to play it,” Watkins says. “Everybody knows about those fake people.”
With more than 85 million records sold worldwide, TLC is the best-selling American girl group. Under their belt, they have four Grammys, four multiplatinum awards, four No. 1 singles and 10 top 10 singles. In 2017, TLC released a self-titled album, its first in more than 15 years. It hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Independent Album Chart.
A two-hour documentary special, “Biography: TLC,” will premiere on A&E in 2022. In the special, Thomas and Watkins will tell their story for the first time in a feature documentary.
The women’s career came to a screeching halt — as it had for so many others — due to the pandemic. For Thomas, the quarantine was nerve-wracking and depressing. She’s “happy, grateful and thankful” to be back on the road, playing for fans.
“It means so many things to different people,” she says. “It means a lot to us. This is the album that said, ‘Hey, these girls are here to say. They’re not just some fad.’”
TLC and Bone Thugs N’ Harmony
When: 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, October 6
Where: Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center Street, Mesa
Cost: Tickets start at $49.50