• DERRICK DUNN

Concert Review: Femme It Forward @ National Harbor


On Sunday, March 13th, the ladies were definitely first when the Femme It Forward tour made a stop at the MGM'S Theater at National Harbor. The lineup consisted of legendary trio SWV, hometown songstress Mýa, and headliner Ms. Faith Evans.


The concept of Femme It Forward, which focuses on female empowerment while striving to bring more inclusivity to the music industry, produces concerts as part of its wide-ranging efforts.

The show's opening act was The Real Housewives of Potomac reality star Candiace. Despite living in the DMV, I had no idea who Candiace was or that she was a part of the bill. However, I will give Candiace credit for a decent performance on her first national tour. Candiace's short set was compromised of selections from her debut album Deep Space. The songs that caught my attention were "Benefits" and "Drive Back."


Chocolate City's own Mýa was up next and was the artist I was most looking forward to seeing. Mýa's portion of the show began with a video promoting her label Planet 9, followed by a smooth transition into "Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)" from her 2000 sophomore album, Fear of Flying. Over the course of a sharp thirty-five-minute set, Mýa performed hits including "Best of Me (Part II)," "Fallen," "Movin On," and "Elevator."


The singer also took time to give fans portions of hits where she was featured, including "Take Me There," "Girls Dem Sugar," and of course "Lady Marmalade." The particular highlights of Mýa's show were her nineties R&B medley and a surprise cameo from Sisqo when she performed her debut single "It's All About Me."


SWV was up next, opening their set with the "Anything" remix. Coco's voice is still immaculate, and while the members of Wu-Tang Clan weren't in the house, Taj showed off some impressive rapping skills. The trio kept it moving through their set as they performed fan favorites including "You're the One," "I'm So into You," "Rain," and a personal favorite, "Use Your Heart," where Taj's bridge still slays.


I also want to shout out-group member Lelee, who is always a burst of positive energy anytime I see the group live. SWV closed out their set with their signature song, "Weak," which naturally the audience sang in unison. I've seen SWV live numerous times over the years and their setlist rarely changes, which is fine, as you must appeal to the fans. That said, I do wish the ladies would add their beautiful cover of "If Only You Knew" and the 2016 hit "MCE (Man Crush Everyday)" back into the show.


After too long of a delay, it was time for the headliner Faith Evans to take the stage. Faith's set opened up with "Burnin Up" from 2001's Faithfully. Evans's setlist included hits from her twenty-seven-year career. Highlights included "All Night Long," "Can't Believe," "You Used to Love Me”, and "I Love You." One of the biggest surprises of Faith's portion of the show was seeing Junior Mafia take the stage to perform "Get Money" and "Crush on You."


All of the ladies of the evening performed great, but if I had to pick a favorite performance of the night, it would have to be Mýa'. Nevertheless, Femme It Forward's goal of focusing on female empowerment was evident, with the primarily female audience singing every song, word for word, throughout the concert's duration.


Final Grade: B

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