PHOTOS: Bell Biv DeVoe and friends recreate ’90s R&B magic at Chase Center

Bell Biv DeVoe, Rick Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe

Bell Biv DeVoe performs at Chase Center in San Francisco on Oct. 2, 2021. Sean Liming/STAFF.

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been nearly 31 years since New Edition members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie Devoe reformed as Bell Biv DeVoe and released their debut album. But while 1990 seems like a long time ago, many fans of the group, now in their 40s and 50s, were ready to dance and sing along to the trio’s classics at Chase Center on Saturday.

SWV, Cheryl Gamble, Tamara Johnson, Leanne Lyons

SWV performs at Chase Center in San Francisco on Oct. 2, 2021.

Bell Biv DeVoe opened with signature tunes “Do Me,” “B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?” as well as the tracks like “Find a Way” and “Run.” The crowd response to New Edition songs “Hot2Nite,” “Candy Girl” and “Cool It Now” was very lively. Bell, Bivins and DeVoe, in their 50s themselves, danced through the entire performance. Hit single “Do Me!” had the entire building moving as one, while DeVoe’s and Bivins’ rapping remained energetic and fun decades later.

For the last song of the night, Bell Biv DeVoe delivered their biggest hit, “Poison,” sending fans off on a high note.



The show wan’t all about BBD, however. The lineup was filled six other acts that rekindled ’90s nostalgia at Chase. Since the entire show ran about three and a half hours, that meant each of the other acts had up to about 25 minutes to do their thing.

Vocal trio SWV, “Sisters With Voices” Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons, gave an electrifyingly performance. SWV threw themselves into hits like “Anything,” “Can We,” “Rain” and “Right Here.” Gamble, Johnson and Lyons then serenaded the crowd with “You’re Always On My Mind” and “Use Your Heart.”

Brian McKnight

Brian McKnight performs at Chase Center in San Francisco on Oct. 2, 2021.

SWV joked and riffed with the crowd before concluding with one of their most popular hits, the smooth as silk “Weak.”

Brian McKnight began his 25-minute set with this pure cover of Marvin Gay’s “Sexual Healing.” While he sounded great, there were clearly some audio issues creating a problem during his and some of the earlier performances.

McKnight didn’t let that affect him, peering through an amazing rendition of “Anything.” The problems were cleared by by the time he performed covers of Michael Jackson’s “I Want to Rock With You,” Prince’s “Baby, Baby, Baby” and Whitney Houston’s “I Believe In You and Me.”



Ginuwine

Ginuwine performs at Chase Center in San Francisco on Oct. 2, 2021.

Ginuwine made the most of his 15 minutes on stage. With a large red feather boa draped around his collar, he sang “Same Ole G,” “In Those Jeans,” and before concluding, he made his to the back of the arena while singing “Pony.” Atlanta R&B group 112 opened with “Dance With Me” before moving into perfectly choreographed tunes like “Cupid” and “Only You” and “Peaches and Cream.”

Silk, which got its start in 1989, blasted through “Let Me Love You” and “Meeting in My Bedroom” before ending with some fun four-part harmonizing on “Freak You.” Las Vegas trio 702 opened opened the night with slow jam “Get It Together” and included “Where My Girls At” in it three-song set.



Follow photographer Sean Liming at Instagram.com/S.Liming.