Salt N Pepa and Vanilla Ice take over Pompano for a Night of Nostalgia
–Review of the show at Pompano Beach Amphitheater (Pompano Beach)
This past weekend, the “I Love the 90’s” Tour took over the normally quiet Pompano Beach Amphitheater and it’s surrounding park for a throwback from the era of tape decks. Featuring Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, Coolio and Young MC, the tour brought together some of the hottest acts of the 90’s and after finding great success in their tour of the United States last year and their recent trek to Australia, the tour has come back to the States to bring back the nostalgia to arenas throughout the country.
As I walked through the gates of the festival, the first thing I noticed was the rampant throwback aesthetic spread throughout the amphitheater. From highlighter colored shirts bearing the tour dates sold in the merch booth to the DJ playing classic 90’s tunes while the stars were getting ready to play, the show took great care to cultivate the atmosphere of the neon age. Food stands lined the sides of the stage, emanating an aroma that attracted attendees (including myself) to try some of their delicious delicacies before the main event began.
Young MC was the first to appear on stage and began his set with the song Justice Served from the soundtrack to the movie of the same name. He went on to explain that the film was his first feature directorial debut which premiered earlier that year, and will be getting widely released soon. Afterwards, he played the song Know How which was featured in this years film Baby Driver, and finished off his time on the stage with his most famous hit, Bust a Move which spent 39 weeks in the Billboard 100 when it was first released.
After a brief break while the stagehands did their thing, Coolio took to the stage. Featuring a full backing band including a saxophonist and rocking a chrome plated microphone with built-in brass knuckles, he launched into his first song 1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New) and a cover of Prince’s Purple Rain after a small homage to the man in purple. He was also the only musician that day to employ a full band, which allowed them to play an improvisational solo performance before breaking into Coolio’s greatest hit, Gangsta’s Paradise.
As the sun set and the LED screens in the background began to get covered with fog, 90’s rap duo Salt-N-Pepa appeared on to the stage. Rocking gold and silver flaked jackets and flanked by a troupe of background dancers, the group began jamming through their repertoire of hits including Shake Your Thang, Expression, I’ll Take Your Man and Let’s Talk About Sex. The group then took a minute the thank all the fans for sticking by them before putting the spotlight on their DJ, Spinderella, who then launched into a spin session of 90’s hits while the group brought all the female fans that bought the meet and greet package at the merch booth out on to the stage for a dance off. The male fans also had their chance on stage during the next song Whatta Man as the group and the background dancers bounced up and down among the fans. They finished off their time on the stage with their greatest hits Push It, and None of Your Business to great acclaim from the audience.
While the last group disappeared backstage and the roadies began to wipe the sweat down from the stage, the crew set the stage for the next event. Vanilla Ice emerged from the fog while the audience cheered. A Wellington local, the rapper broke into a few original songs, including a remix of his most famous song Ice Ice Baby featuring fellow Florida native Rick Ross. The song Ninja Rap from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie also made an appearance during the show, and the rapper then finished off his set with a few cover songs including Play That Funky Music.
Overall I would say the event was a great success, with fans of all ages showing up, from 40+year olds who were old enough to see their acts live in their heyday to teenagers who wanted to check out what their parents were getting so excited about. Lucky fans were even able to mingle with Coolio in between sets as he hung out by the merch stand and posed for pictures. It was great to see these acts still doing their thing today after so many years and I cant wait to see what they have planned next.