Over the last few years, there have been several packaged tours cashing in on music nostalgia that had multiple performers in the lineup. The attraction of the lineup had hit songs that fans played repetitively at the height of their popularity. Two years ago AXS reviewed ‘I Love the 90s’ with headliners TLC. Headliners vary from year to year.
This year AVA Amphitheater brought ‘The 90s House Party’ tour to Tucson with Vanilla Ice as the headliner. Rap artists, Tone Loc, Coolio, and Rob Base were also on the bill supporting Ice. All of these performers are veteran performers on the nostalgia tours. AXS was there and here are five reasons to catch Vanilla Ice on this tour live.
1) Vanilla Ice knows how to thoroughly engage fans
Ice was easily the biggest name on the bill and he has credentials from today as a reality TV star. Some fans know him from his home-flipping series “The Vanilla Ice Project.”
He brought musicians on stage, which included two DJs and a Travis Barker-like drummer that put some thump to Ice’s raspy raps.
“Make some noise if you got your movies at Blockbuster!” Ice asked. “That’s my ’90s people right there.” "I love my '90s people!" Vanilla Ice shouted several times during his concise set featuring his signature "Ice Ice Baby" groove and well-chosen covers. He queried, "Who wore fanny packs?" to pull together those nostalgic for "block parties back in the day."
There were plenty of fans filled with nostalgia and many of them spent a large portion of the set on stage dancing. Tone Loc joined in on the fun. There was even a Ninja Turtle segment dancing while Ice promoted his hit “Ninja Rap.” He played himself up as a tough-guy rapper with "Bust a Move" and "Minutes of Power." Ice was determined to have a fun party and he succeeded.
2) Tone Loc brings his best “Funky Cold Medina”
Tone Loc started the evening with a 15-20 minute set. His hits “Funky Cold Medina” and “Wild Thang” highlighted the set. The gravely voiced performer quickly invited all the ladies on stage to party with him. He kept things simple with just screens and turntable and a hype man.
3) Coolio had more than a DJ added to his set
Coolio quickly took the stage after Loc exited. The "Gangster's Paradise" hitmaker still sports some pointy braids but is otherwise bald. He brought up a drummer, guitarist and saxophonist despite only having 20 minutes to play. However, that was extended a little bit.
The talented sax player, Jarez, closed the set with Coolio’s 1997 hit record “C U When U Get There.”
4) Rob Base increased the excitement as the show progressed
Rob Base was THE party band of the 1990s. Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock were the American hip hop duo from Harlem. That was true until Rock’s untimely death in 2014. There was a hype man that replaced Rock during this set. The rap duo ignited the crowd well before they got to “It Takes Two.” The set was filled with a medley of older-school rap hits.
Base played the lesser-known hit, “Joy and Pain,” to an overwhelming response, but nothing could match the insanity that was the crowd’s reaction when they played the hall of fame hit, “It Takes Two.”
5) The tour is like a well-oiled machine
The tour producers have had enough experience with these stacked acts shows that there is no time for fans to get restless waiting for the next act to show. One act blended into the next act. The hip-hop theme also blended well.
The videos and sound were professionally done without any snafus.
It was a fun dance party that seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended.