People dance on stage with Vanilla Ice during the I Love the 90’s Tour at the Times Union Center; photo by Haley Viccaro
Everyone was a teenager on Thursday night at the Times Union Center.
Whether you were actually a teenager or born in the 1960s, the I Love the 90’s Tour brought people back to a time of old-school hip-hop and rap, singing and dancing like they just don’t care.
The concert featured 90’s favorites Salt n Pepa, with DJ Spinderella, and Vanilla Ice. Other 90’s throwbacks included Coolio, Rob Base, Tone Loc and Color Me Badd. It was a fantastic lineup. Each played a few songs–mostly their hits–that many people remember and love.
What grabbed my attention right away was the incredible lighting. Neon lights scanned the massive crowd and pulsed to the music throughout the concert.
There was also a lot of screaming. In true ’90s fashion, the DJs and artists asked the crowd to scream, wave their hands in the air and repeat after them. When I say ho, you say ha! Ho! Ha! Ho! Ha! *Starts singing Let Me Clear My Throat* You get the point.
Needless to say, my voice was raspy after the four-hour show. Yes, four hours. It was a lot to fit into one concert. There wasn’t a lot of breaks in between either, except for the DJs scratching other ’90s hits as the next artist prepared to take the stage.
But even after four hours, I didn’t want it to end, despite my feet throbbing from dancing in high-heel boots and my throat sore from screaming to sing and talk.
I was lucky to snag floor seats, which surprisingly did not fill up. That was a plus because there was plenty of room to drop it like it’s hot. (Yes, I know that song was released in 2004. My apologies.)
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . SALT N PEPA! *And the crowd goes wild*
They still got it. They were incredible. Their voices haven’t changed, and they mixed some killer choreography in–some vaguely familiar from the music videos–along with the two super muscular and super sexy men (who took their shirts off at one point *drool*) dancing on either side of them.
They also connected with the audience. They talked a bit between songs, mentioning how they’re still best friends–Salt is the “good” friend and Pepa is the “bad” one. And by bad they mean the attention whore and sex addict.
They joked about being a bad influence and promoting sex in their songs to horny teenagers who listened. Ah, push it. Push it good. Ah, push it. Push it real good!
Pepa joked about having sex with many men before singing “Let’s Talk About Sex.” The choreography was hot and sticky. People sang along as some couples grinded on one another and one woman, who was sitting on top of a guy’s shoulders toward the front, took her top off.
Vanilla Ice was not as impressive. The stage was turned into something out of a bad horror movie with a large grim reaper in the middle and smoke pouring from the stage into the audience.
It took about 10 minutes or so for Vanilla Ice, who ended the show, to take the stage. Some people left thinking the show was over. I must admit I thought the same until my friend pointed out that Vanilla Ice hadn’t gone on yet.
“Ice Ice Baby” was good, but the remix felt forced and didn’t bring me back to 1990. It was turned into one big sing-along/dance party with dozens of people on stage with Vanilla Ice.
People on the floor were invited to run up on stage and dance at points during the show. I thought about it. But I chickened out. Kind of regretting that now.
It was comical to watch some of the people dancing. Two guys wearing Salt N Pepa T-shirts stood out trying desperately to sway their hips to no avail. They had to be in their 40’s or 50’s, complete with beer bellies and baseball hats. Sorry to the two men if they read this. I was laughing at you, not with you.
Other highlights included “Funky Cold Medina” by Tone Loc, “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio, and “It Takes Two” by Rob Base. Color Me Badd was forgettable. They also looked like they aged more than the others, and put on a few pounds.
People got into it. Security had to repeatedly push women away from Vanilla Ice as they threw themselves onto him and tried to take selfies. There were several times throughout the concert that security could be seen pointing flashlights in people’s faces and collectively running in a certain direction.
The music, especially the bass, was so loud, but I didn’t notice how loud it was until I stepped outside the Times Union Center and my ears were ringing and my hearing was significantly reduced for the rest of the night.
The I Love the 90’s Tour is continuing to perform across the country. If you get the chance, I would highly recommend attending. Let your hair down. Shake your ass. Be wild for a night. I mean, who doesn’t miss being a teenager?