Dunkaroos, Bill Nye, Tamagotchi, Kid Pix, Silly Putty, Push-Pops, and don’t forget the frosted tips! Have I taken you back to the 90’s yet? Are you beginning to feel nostalgic?
Imagine what embracing so many things that made the 90’s as great as we all remember, and combining them into one night of absolute joy and reminiscence. That is exactly what the I Love the 90’s Tour provided for a jam packed Mystic Lake on Friday night.
The show kicked off with Young MC and it was made immediately obvious that this show was unlike any other. Mystic Lake is a seated venue, but barely anyone was sitting still at all. Instead, blissful fans jumped to their feet and shamelessly danced in between the rows and even filled the aisles boogying with friends and strangers alike.
This energy continued throughout the entirety of Young MC’s set, and beyond, as he came to a close with his top hit, Bust A Move.
Something that stood out about this tour was that it was run by emcees and DJs, which meant that setup times between artists didn’t allow for any downtime or the chance for the high energy in the room to drop. Transitions were smooth, and attendees had media to consume at all times throughout the night.
Tone Loc was all smiles as he took the stage next. He brought a vibrant aesthetic, making sure fans were singing along as he performed a medley of songs including Funky Cold Medina with a transition into a cover of Snoop Dogg’s fan favorite, Gin and Juice.
As his time on stage came to a close, he drew from the energy in the crowd as he invited all of the ladies on stage to dance with him during his final song. Fans ran up towards the front of the room, and Tone Loc happily weaved through a sea of dancing fans as he sang his hit song, “Wild Thing.”
Tone Loc’s set was followed immediately by DJ Born spinning classics like Notorious B.I.G’s Hypnotize and Eminem’s The Real Slim Shady. Everyone continued grooving and singing along as the venue prepared for Color Me Badd’s performance.
When Color Me Badd hit the stage, they brought some of the best and most telling elements to their performance. From the denim jackets to the charismatic backup dancers, their appearance was entirely reflective of the 90’s era.
I loved the way that they used clothing pieces to tell a story. At one point the backup dancers had a wardrobe change just before the duo began covering Michael Jackson’s Rock With You. The dancers came out in bright red suits and, of course, had not forgotten their single white gloves; an absolute staple.
Soon after, the group began throwing roses into the audience, literally romancing them before closing with an electric performance of I Wanna Sex You Up.
DJ Born took the stage once more, playing favorite like Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, and of course, Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way Every so often, he’d cut off the music so that fans could sing the lyrics back to him, However this method wasn’t terribly successful for these transitional songs, as most people there were there to listen to what on deck artist, Rob Base, described as “old school hip-hop.”
What I remember the most from Rob Base’s performance is that it was absolutely exhausting, but in the best way. He was incredibly reliant on callbacks from the audience and used them as an engagement mechanism.
Though each artist throughout the night required a lot of movement, Rob Base took that idea to a new level as audience members were also asked to “wave their hands” and “pump their fists” so many time throughout the show that I was almost fearful my arm would fly off into the air trying to keep up.
The crowd shuffled in anticipation as we waited for Salt-N-Pepa to take the stage. There was a long introduction that featured many news clips of the legendary duo’s successes over the course of 31 years. Then suddenly, a burst of smoke, a whirlwind of confetti and the moment had finally arrived.
The pair, along with DJ Spinderella, stormed the stage dressed in bling-ed out black outfits, accessorized with jeweled microphones and a whole mess of attitude.
They brought the same feisty and seductive spunk that fans of all generations have grown to love, backed by dancers performing stripteases, Pepa needing to take off her earrings to throw down for songs that packed a fuller punch, and of course, by calling fans to the stage to let loose and party along with them.
Fans were treated with favorite originals like Shoop, samples from songs like Sir Mix A Lot’s Baby Got Back, and moments like Papa slamming a glass of wine on stage before transitioning into Let’s Talk About Sex.
The Duo ended their set with Push It, while channeling many of the same dance moves that can be seen in their 1986 music video. Overall, an upbeat and rambunctious performance; they haven’t lost their spice!
The closer of the night was Vanilla Ice which to me, was somewhat surprising. When I first learned that I’d be covering this show, I went to the Spotify page of each artist to see their top five songs. I was interested in seeing what Vanilla Ice would be playing, seeing as his top five Spotify songs were Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby, Ice Ice Baby, Ninja Rap, and Ice Ice Baby (explicit).
I wasn’t expecting much, but boy, was I wrong.
Vanilla Ice seemed to have two main goals during his performance. The first was to make audience members marinate in nostalgia, by mentioning things like cassette tapes and Walkmans, the second was to create his own “house party” by inviting anyone who was willing to join him on stage for the majority of his show.
This stood out, as other artists throughout the night who invited fans on stage only allowed them there for one song, but Vanilla Ice wanted everyone up there immediately and long after his set.
He strutted back and forth on the stage taking photos with any fan who asked him while he performed. Non-surprisingly, all of his top five Spotify songs made it on to his setlist.
What was surprising was that Ice Ice Baby was not his closer, rather he played Lil Jon’s Turn Down For What, which is so far out of the 90’s I can’t imagine more than ten people in the room even knew the song. He then played Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me, which made a little more sense, but then the true final closing song was the slow and chill No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley.
I thought it was a weak ending to an engaging performance, and that he may have been better off just playing Ice Ice Baby three more times instead.
All in all, the I Love the 90’s Tour was a true blast from the past, and a fantastic show for all generations. This era of hip-hop is sincerely such an exciting genre for any music lover, and made for an unforgettable experience for a 90’s baby like me!
Until next time, you can find me drinking Tang, watching Doug, and wearing my vibrant assortment of slap bracelets. Peace out!