Long before Destiny’s Child released their debut album (let alone reunited at the Super Bowl), another girl group was ruling the airwaves with such infectious hits as “Hold On,” “Free Your Mind,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and, of course, “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It).” On Feb. 16, founding member Maxine Jones brings the timeless songs of En Vogue back to the Silverton Casino Hotel with The Funky Divas.
“This will be a brand new show,” Jones told Examiner.com. “We’ll be performing all the typical En Vogue tunes—the hits—but they’ll be arranged differently. Plus, we tore down all the previous choreography and rebuilt it, so if you saw us last year, the show will be completely different. I’m nervous and excited—I hope I remember all my cues!”
In addition to performing the songs that made the group famous, En Vogue will be performing two new songs from their upcoming album: the upbeat “Jimmy Choo” and the ballad “Tall.”
“The album is supposed to be released on March 5, but it keeps getting pushed back, so I hope that happens,” Jones said. “We have some great new tunes coming out, and I’m excited to be performing two of my favorites in the show.”
When asked which classic songs she enjoys performing the most for a crowd, Jones replied with two of the group’s biggest hits.
“I love performing ‘Giving Him Something He Can Feel,’ as the moves are sexy and we get to tease the guys in the crowd,” Jones replied with a laugh. “I also enjoy ‘My Lovin’,’ as that’s another song where we get to tease the guys—and it’s just so sassy!”
While the members of En Vogue have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years—Jones herself has the left the group on more than one occasion—it’s the interaction with the fans that Jones said always keeps her coming back for more.
“I love performing, and I’m so blessed to be able to do what I love,” Jones stated. “I live for the fans and that interaction and feedback. But the business side of things, that can be difficult; I could leave that behind.”
While Jones is the only founding member in the group right now, she still remains close with En Vogue’s original lineup, particularly Dawn Robinson, who Jones said is “in and out of the group a lot.”
“She’s working on her own solo stuff, but whenever she wants to, she can always join in,” Jones said. “En Vogue is something we just can’t give up. It’s what we’re known for and known by—it follows us wherever we go.”
When asked how come there always seems to be more boy bands dominating the music scene, but the girl groups who do break through are usually more timeless (TLC, Destiny’s Child, The Supremes), Jones said that was something she hadn’t thought of before but found to be “so true.”
“I think it’s because women are more passionate,” she replied. “We really put our all into this [performing], so it’s not so easy for us to just let it go. This is our lives; we can’t just turn away from it.”
While the members of En Vogue may have changed over the years, one thing that’s remained the same is how fabulous the ladies always look. Jones admitted that it’s “hard to stick to a diet” when she’s on the road, especially in a city like Las Vegas where you can find “every kind of food imaginable—Italian, Japanese—right in the casino.”
“There are so many great restaurants in Las Vegas, there’s always good eating nearby,” Jones said. “This time when I come to town I’ll be arriving a day before the show, so I’ll have time to hang out. Usually, I live on the East Coast, so I usually fly in the day of a show, rest a bit, then do sound check, perform and celebrate with drinks at the bar afterward. Then in the morning I take a 4 or 5 a.m. flight out again. But it’s so tempting, even when you order room service, to order the pancakes or waffles instead of the tea and fruit.”
Although Jones’ New Year’s resolution was to “eat healthier foods and more raw vegetables,” like everyone else, she admitted she has her weaknesses.
“I love chocolate cake,” Jones said. “Nothing else really tempts me but chocolate cake or a nice chocolate brownie, especially when it’s warmed up and has vanilla ice cream on top. Even if it’s just a couple bites, I’ve got to have it.”
While performing in Las Vegas may pose a hazard to one’s waistline, Jones said that performing here on a regular basis would definitely be “a dream come true.”
“Are you kidding me?” she asked. “[Having a Las Vegas residency] gives you the luxury of bringing your family out with you. If you’re a woman on the road, that’s the hardest part of traveling. I have a 16-year-old back home, and she’s always anticipating me leaving to go perform somewhere. Plus, being in one spot you can really hone your show and make it great. You can know it like the back of your hand and really perfect it. I would just love that!”
Who knows? Given that this is the third time En Vogue has been invited to perform at the Silverton, a reoccurring gig in Las Vegas might not to be too far in the group’s future.
En Vogue performs Sat., Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. inside the Silverton’s Veil Pavilion. Tickets cost $25 for general admission, $40 for VIP seating and $65 for VIP seating with a meet & greet. For tickets, simply click here or visit the Silverton Casino Hotel box office.