Destiny’s Child : Toronto MuchMusic Studio

The all-conquering trio prove just about captivating at this peformance-cum-meet'n'greet...

In the midst of a grueling promotional tour in preparation for breaking their headlining hymen later this summer in North America, the Houston trio of Kelly Richmond, Michelle Williams and Beyonce Knowles are in control and – for the most part – a good mood tonight. The fact of 15 million sales worldwide might be one reason, a Christmas album featuring the Dixie Chicks and Ricky Martin another, but the half-performance, half-interview format seems to be the catalyst. The result is all energy and little rust. Surrounded by four schmaltzy Milli Vanilli-looking, Rambo-attired dancers, the trio work the girl-strong floor with ‘Bugaboo’ and ‘No, No, No’ by letting some sing and others dance.

The performance’s electricity, however, is undermined by the sense of ennui during the Q & A session. “If you don’t like Destiny’s Child, then just shut up!” when asked about hateful internet postings. Eminem‘s name is also brought up, which causes D12 posters to appear on cue. After responding to some inane fan questions and going out for quick meet and greet, they get back to work. ‘Say My Name’ has Williams strutting around the exterior catwalk, but with each number, it’s obvious this is Beyonce’s boat, regardless of how close the trio genuinely appears.

The Richard Hatch-inspired ‘Survivor’ is run through a bit awkwardly just before another sit-down conversation. It’s this interlude that seems to sap the crowd. Butts start shaking for the infectious ‘Bootylicious’, but only the ones belonging to the three stars onstage. Luckily, ‘Independent Women’ sets the ship right again. The group just about passes this no-brainer test. How well this works on tour remains to be seen.

Jason MacNeil