NEW YORK — If you listened to the radio ads promoting Destiny's Child's back-to-back concerts in New York over the weekend, you heard that it was your last chance to see the ladies behind "the greatest female R&B group of all time" form Voltron one mo' gin — or at least during a tour.
Kelly, Michelle and Beyoncé took the stage at Madison Square Garden Saturday night and hit Long Island's Nassau Coliseum the following evening, but no guests stepped onstage with the trio — not Jigga, not T.I., not Lil' Wayne. Then again, there also weren't any haggard dance moves or listless notes. Also, if you thought the three sexy Ms. Thangs were going to wear the same outfits you've seen before, you were about as wrong as all those Mets fans who thought they were going to see Manny Ramirez come play at Shea Stadium this year.
Destiny's Child made their way onstage not by walking, but by rising. The women came from underneath the stage, slowly ascending to cheers and the sound of their band playing, and took their places in front of the stage curtains. Kelly wore all red, Beyoncé stood in the middle in emerald, and Michelle, on B's left, was draped in purple.
They started with "Say My Name," but might as well have been saying "sing-along, sing-along, sing-along," as the predominantly female Coliseum crowd sounded like it was trying to out-belt the night's headliners. Beyoncé ran back and forth across the stage, ad-libbing "say my name, say ... say Beyoncé, say Kelly, say Michelle." The ladies took a bow and then, on cue, it was fade to black.
When the lights came back on, the curtains were down and the entire stage was revealed, with the eye-grabbers being a giant D and C hanging on separate sides of the stage and a digitally lit wall as the main backdrop.
Destiny's Child were joined by four female dancers throughout the set, with all seven women sitting on chairs for "Independent Women, Pt. 1." By the time the song ended, it was just DC onstage by themselves, with Beyoncé asking where all the "real" fans of the group were. Satisfied with the reaction, Jay-Z's Bonnie told them she wanted to take it all the way back to their first hit, the remix of "No, No, No." "Bug a Boo," "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Bootylicious" followed and then, once again, the ladies left the stage.
Photos: Destiny's Child's NYC Farewell
During their brief departure, Destiny's Child let their male dancers entertain the women in the crowd a bit. The men, six oily guys with no shirts on, wore black pants, trench coats and berets, looking like a cross between Public Enemy's S1Ws and Chippendales. They stomped on the ground, one gyrating with a towel in his pants, another simply pulling his down to get cheers.
The headliners returned like three black ninjas, popping up from the ground instead of slowly rising this time. "Soldier" commenced.
If this is indeed Destiny's Child's last tour ever (see "Destiny's Child Talk Split: 'It's Not The End' ") — which sounds about as believable as Jay-Z never putting out another album — all three women proved with brief solo sets that they have the chops to stand in front of an audience by themselves.
Kelly was the first to get her time alone in the spotlight. She came out singing her patented "I love you/ And I need you," setting off "Dilemma," although without Nelly in tow. She drew from Patti LaBelle, singing some words from the legend's "Love, Need And Want You," the song "Dilemma" took some of its lyrics from.
Michelle was next, attracting attention by standing on a smaller circular stage in a flowing dress and singing her gospel tune "Change the World." Although many seemed unfamiliar with the record, Michelle had plenty of people clapping and shouting for her in a that-girl-can-saaang manner. One woman even rose to her feet and held her arms open wide like she was catching the Holy Ghost.
When Beyoncé came onstage for her solo set, she could be easily spotted among a crew of people wearing all white and bouncing on the stage like an African tribe (the fact she was carrying an umbrella didn't hurt either). A small part of the stage started revolving as B and company made their way up the staircase for "Baby Boy" and later "Naughty Girl." You don't need Barnaby Jones to surmise that Beyoncé is the stand-out star; no matter who she is onstage with, it's impossible to take you eyes off her.
The costume changes kept coming almost as frequently as the song selections. For "Cater 2 U," DC wore blue dresses and brought three "gentlemen" up from the crowd to give lap dances to. Still, it wasn't nearly as jaw-dropping as what happened at the BET Awards (see "Destiny's Child Give Lap Dances, Fugees End Feud At BET Awards"). During "Survivor," the threesome dressed up in matador outfits, and during the transition from "Dangerously in Love" to "Crazy in Love," Beyoncé had a gown with a tear-away bottom half.
However, the ladies ended their last concert in New York with simplicity. They wore denim-and-white T-shirts and shed their shoes and socks for "Lose My Breath," bringing the show to a close by standing underneath a waterfall onstage.
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.