Have you ever wanted to be part of a giant dance party where only ’90s music is blasting away?? I have! And that dream came true Saturday night at the Abbotsford Centre where I experienced the “I Love The ’90s Tour.” Perhaps this isn’t everyone’s dream, but it was an amazing opportunity to witness artists of the ’90s (All-4-One, Color Me Badd, Young MC, Rob Base, Salt-N-Pepa, and Vanilla Ice) make an epic comeback.
Rob Base, best known for the single “It Takes Two” (written with DJ E-Z Rock, who sadly passed away in 2014), kept the party going on Saturday. His DJ opened with a mix of high-energy dance songs as Rob Base came on to the stage. Rob Base interacted with the crowd, then started with his second single, “Joy and Pain.” The sold-out arena blew up with cheers and whistles of appreciation.
Afterward, Rob Base and his DJ played around with small clips of covers (such as “Make Munne” by Black Moon), to which the crowd enthusiastically danced along. Then came the hit everyone was waiting for, “It Takes Two.” Rob Base and his DJ played around with a couple more clips, ending their set with a cover of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” (originally performed by Steam). Although Rob Base’s set was short, the crowd loved every minute of it.
While we awaited the hip hop trio, a DJ was spinning songs from the ’90s (with a sprinkling of ’70s, ’80s, and 2000s) to keep us dancing. Then, just as the crowd was becoming restless with anticipation, the arena darkened and the screen lit up with clips of the group’s past performances and other highlights from their extensive career. A booming voice introduced Salt-N-Pepa, with DJ Spinderella and they made their way out onto the stage.
After singing “Shake Your Thang,” the Queens from Queens talked about their time together and how they’ve been at it for 31 years. Salt admitted that although they had been through “hell and high water” together, they’re still “BFF’s.” They also teasingly apologized to the ’80s and ’90s babies in the crowd: “we were talkin’ about sex, rippin’ jeans, and pushin’ it hard.”
They continued through more of their hits (“I’ll Take Your Man” and “Tramp”) while two amazing back-up dancers wowed the crowds with intricate and impressive moves. The audience then went crazy as Salt-N-Pepa performed one of their biggest hits, “Let’s Talk About Sex.”
Next, DJ Spinderella took center stage and started to spin hits like House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine.” Through all of these songs, the two dancers were entertaining the crowd, while Salt and Pepa stepped off stage. The audience was especially awestruck when a Michael Jackson tune was queued and one of the dancers performed Jackson’s style to a T.
As Salt-N-Pepa made their way back to the stage, they began singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” They invited several lucky ladies up to the stage to have fun as well. And just so the boys didn’t feel left out, Salt-N-Pepa invited several men (decked out in ’90s gear) onto the stage. They performed “Whatta Man” while the guys grooved with the trio.
Salt-N-Pepa ended their set with my personal favorite, “Shoop” and finally “Push It.” The ladies thanked the crowd for sticking with them and coming out to celebrate the ’90s.
Sadly, all things must come to an end, but at least it was a Vanilla Ice end. Vanilla Ice and his crew ran exuberantly onto the stage to start their set. Much like before in Rob Base’s set, the DJ spun small clips that Vanilla Ice rapped along to. In between songs, Vanilla Ice talked about the joys of the ’90s; how “we found our own entertainment” and didn’t need Snapchat, selfies, or smartphones (it was all about flip phones!) And he told the audience we’d go back to that time: “We’re teenagers tonight!”
He then broke into “Ninja Rap” (written for the movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze”), he freestyled a bit, and we got a taste of his drummer’s talent with a drum solo. The songs kept coming with covers (such as “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry) and finally, what everyone had been waiting for: “Ice Ice Baby.” The audience was loving it; everyone was singing and moving to the beat.
The party kept going until the very end when Vanilla Ice sang two last covers: “Pony” by Ginuwine and Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” As “No Woman” continued in the background, Vanilla Ice thanked the audience over and over again for joining him. No, no, thank you Vanilla Ice (and all the other great artists of the night), the pleasure was ours. I love it when dreams come true! Another One?!