Concert Review: SWV

SWV_Approved Promo Image HR[1]_preview.jpg

By Pauline Hunt

Artist: SWV with special guests Allure

Date / Venue: Saturday February 3rd, 2018 - The Studio, Auckland

When SWV first announced that they would be touring to celebrate their 25th Anniversary, they added NZ to the list of countries, making it their first time to perform here. With nostalgia that would be hitting fans all over Auckland, the concert was sure to be a hit and the venue Studio was going to be busy but packed out.

Sisters With Voices better known as SWV (members Coko, Lelee, and Taj) originally formed in 1986 as a gospel group, but soon became one of the most successful R&B groups of the 90’s. As of 2015, they’ve sold more than 25 million records, making them one of the best selling girl groups of all time. Also announced to be joining them on their tour was another RnB girl group Allure. They too also had hits from the 90’s and sure to bring fire also. 

With no surprises of having to stand in a huge queue of fans to enter the Studio, we finally making it inside and found myself surrounded with the sounds of the Fresh Prince theme blasting through the speakers. Well that definitely felt like I was being taken back in time. DJ Reminisce was the opening DJ, setting up the audience to make sure that they were all having a good night. Playing all the hip hop and RnB goodness from the 90’s, everyone that I was surrounded by, were all dancing and drinking and just having a good time, remembering all hits that were all coming out. Such hits from Zhane, to TLC to Mariah Carey, surely everyone was amped and ready for a great night. 

After creating the atmosphere of the night, DJ Reminisce had completed his opening set, it was time to prepare for Allure to come out on stage. What was a quartet, was now a trio, opened their set with their single ‘Kool Wit’ Me’ which they released in 2001. They followed this up with records such as ‘Enjoy Yourself’, and ‘Head Over Heels’, the crowd were singing along, reliving their good old younger days no doubt. Before leaving the stage however, they would finish their night off with one of their biggest hits that they released with 112 ‘All Cried Out’ and also bringing on stage some excited fans to sing along with them. You wouldn’t know though, because the whole room turned in a big karaoke fest with everyone bringing out their inner diva and singing or, in some cases..screaming the whole song.  

After Allure left the stage, DJ Reminisce was brought back to the stage to entertain the audience, this time playing all the party hits from the 90’s/00’s to again, make them move on the dance floor. This gave the crowd a chance to go to the bar to refill their drinks so they can be ready for when SWV come on stage. Songs such as ‘Drop Like It’s Hot’, to ‘Ignition’ to ‘Scrubs’, blasting through, all I could hear was screams of excitement. So much excitement, that a minor scuffle was happening right by me. Looks like someone had had enough of the pushers trying to get to the front. Just as the pushing and shoving had ended and the security having a stern word with them, the MC had announced that SWV were about to come on stage. 

Opening up their night with ‘Can We’, a wave of screams is all that can be heard as SWV made their way to the stage, all dressed up in their matching outfits. With everyone singing along and holding up their phones to record, I’m sure I could’ve talked about the concert by watching all the videos that were soon to be on social media. The girls continued on with also well-known hits such as ‘I’m so into You’, ‘Right Here’ as well as ‘The One’. The girls were bringing back all the memories with all the music that they were bringing. One lucky fan got to go on stage as they had asked the audience if anyone was having a birthday. She even got to sing ‘Weak’ with the trio as well as a Happy Birthday song sung to her in the melody of ‘I’m So Into You’. The night continued on when they decided to slow it down by performing one of their recent records ‘Ain’t No Man’ then following that up with ‘Man Crush Everyday’ and ‘Use Your Heart’. They brought the tempo back up with ‘Downtown’ then again with ‘It’s All About U’ to ‘Co-sign’. Of course, they couldn’t come all the way to NZ without singing one of their biggest hits ‘Weak’, which this time, they got the audience to help them sing. Before leaving us though, they ended the night on a high note with ‘Anything’ and then they said goodbye. 

If you thought SWV was following the trend of artists of their time and thinking they were past their time, then you thought wrong. SWV looked like they hadn’t aged and you could definitely say the same about their voices. Their show was everything you could expect of them singing all their biggest records and making you take a trip down memory lane. The trio were still doing what they do best, and it looked like they were definitely going to continue doing what they love. SWV have a massive following and that looks set to continue as I don’t think one person would’ve left that show feeling disappointed.