London-based R&B trio FLO has taken the music world by storm in the year since the release of their contagious single “Cardboard Box” and their subsequent debut EP The Lead. Although the world has taken notice of their talent, they had yet to prove themselves in front of live audiences. That changed last week when they embarked on their first-ever North American tour.
After their initial tour stop in Atlanta, Jorja Douglas, Stella Quaresma and Renée Downer made their way to Washington, D.C. for a concert at the historic 9:30 Club. The venue hosted another event earlier that evening, so the doors didn’t open for this show until after 10 p.m. That did not deter FLO-lifers, as the line wrapped around multiple city blocks, and according to a 9:30 Club employee, the first group of fans showed up 10 hours before the doors opened to secure their spot near the stage. This is indicative of the momentum FLO has right now and just how enthusiastic their fans are to see them perform.
Once the sold-out crowd made their way into the venue, they witnessed a solid, energetic performance from Samaria. She hooked the audience early and kept them engaged throughout her 30-minute set.
Once Samaria finished, the crew prepped the stage for the main event. After a few minutes of the crowd chanting “FLO!” off and on, it was finally showtime. The stage lights came down, triggering what seemed like pandemonium as FLO’s band calmly took their places on the stage and began to play.
Jorja, Stella and Renée soon appeared one by one and took their places on a platform at the rear of the stage. They donned coordinating royal blue outfits and white boots as they stood in front of their custom gray and black backdrop. They appeared to take a second to soak it all in before proceeding to give the raucous crowd what they came for.
The ladies started off with the melodic cut “Not My Job,” which allowed them to flex with their amazing harmony. Women comprised most of the audience, and it was evident that the song’s lyrics resonated fully. The next few songs included the banger “Immature” and the beautiful acoustic ballad “Another Guy.”
The stage crew brought out chairs for the ladies to sit in as they sang “Feature Me” and the unreleased song “Control Freak.” The trio left the stage briefly and allowed the band to stretch out a little before they returned to get lit on “Summertime,” which most definitely qualifies as an anthem. FLO got up close and personal with the crowd as they sat at the front of the stage and performed another new track, the mid-tempo ballad “Change.”
When the audience recognized the guitar riff for the infectious ballad “Losing You,” they took it to another level as they sang each word along with FLO. As a change of pace, the trio paid homage to fellow Brit Jamelia as they performed a cover of her 2003 song “Superstar.” Sensing that the crowd may not know this one, they spent a few minutes teaching concertgoers the chorus, which further solidified their already strong connection with those in attendance.- Advertisement -
To finish their amazing set, FLO delivered the two songs most had been waiting for: “Fly Girl,” their current single and banging collab with the legendary Missy Elliott, and their very first release, the now classic “Cardboard Box.” With that, the ladies thanked the still-buzzing crowd and left the stage. The show lasted about an hour and no doubt left the audience wanting more.
FLO’s North American tour is brief (only seven cities in two weeks), and most dates sold out before they even set foot on U.S. soil. If you get a chance to see them on this tour, consider yourself blessed. Their harmonies are incredible and take us back to the glory days of R&B girl groups in the ’90s. FLO has not only taken the lead in a girl group renaissance, they’re taking it period.- Advertisement -