To paraphrase Rick James, nostalgia is a hell of a drug. Fans who wanted to reclaim a small piece of their youth through the music of the 1990s flocked to the OLG Stage at Fallsview Casino in Niagara on November 3rd. They packed the room to the rafters for the I Love the ’90s Tour.
The excitement surrounding this show was undeniable: even on a Thursday night, there was a party atmosphere in the room, moms & daughters, BFF’s, unofficial high-school reunions were in full effect as the Haligoons in attendance were treated to the hits from acts such as Freedom Williams (C + C Music Factory), Young MC, Rob Base, and the evening’s headlining act, Vanilla Ice. It was certainly a night to break out some vintage overalls, a neon-drenched shirt and a trusty scrunchy. This was not your typical concert, as it felt far more akin to a junior high dance or a Much Dance Party.
Kicking the night off was DJ Diamond the Artist aka DTA Experience who got the crown up and outta their seats dancing. It was fun way to kick off the proceedings before C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams made the way to the stage. The emcee worked through his well-known catalogue of work.
Young MC hit the stage and worked through some lesser-known tunes before breaking out “Bust a Move” that had everyone actually busting move and sounded great. Mr. Young had a little time left, so he tore into “Fastest Rhyme” which flowed perfectly, even if it required a break between verses.
Harlem emcee Rob Base and his hype-man Kyle Rifkin (taking the spot alongside Base, formerly held by the late DJ EZ Rock). It was a set that was largely built around Base’s banter and his two mega hits “Joy and Pain” and “It Takes Two”, but the room exploded when these tracks dropped, but unfortunately Base’s set was largely unremarkable outside of these two songs, as the night was starting to feel long and you could feel there was a degree of energy conservation occurring in the room.
It was finally time for the legend himself Vanilla Ice to take to the stage. Vanilla Ice opened with “Ninja Rap” from the 1991 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ll: The secret of the ooze, and even had Michelangelo the ninja turtle grace the stage with his dance moves. Vanilla Ice had the fans going crazy, singing and dancing. It wasn’t till he invited fans to come up on stage to join in him in closing things out that venue went nuts! People rushing the stage for an all time dance party where fans were showered with Confetti as he performed “Played That Funky Music White Boy” and “Ice Ice Baby. He also played his new song “Joyburst” with Brad Woodgate for their sugar free energy drink Joyburst Vanilla Ice.
All in all, the show may have been staged as a concert, but it was more akin to a Dance Party with your friends. There were legions of fans who reveled in the nostalgia of the classic hits, and seeing some of their favorite acts. It would be great to see the show return to town with a few other ’90s greats, and if they return, you can bet that we’ll be there to revel in that sweet, sweet nostalgia with you!