AVA Amphitheater continued the I Love the 90s Showcase on July 23 with headliner, TLC. This was a package of five R&B and hip-hop acts that had their major success in the 1990s. The show in addition to TLC featured SNAP!, Freedom Williams of C+C Music Factory, Biz Markie, and Coolio and his band. Everything was presented without a hitch.
All of the bands were allowed a ten-minute set except TLC. That worked well for Snap! artist, Penny Ford. She performed the hits “The Power” and “Rhythm Is a Dancer.” However, the time increased with each successive performer.
Freedom Williams of C+C Music Factory quickly followed the first act. Freedom joined C+C in the ‘90s. Williams gave rousing performances of their hits, “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…” and “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," with a DJ. He strutted across the stage with a fine physique, loads of attitude and a lit stogy in his hand.
Rapper Biz Markie took the stage doing what he does best, whatever he wants to. He has been called the Clown Prince of Hip Hop. He did the fan favorite “Just A Friend.” He paid tribute to Prince and Michael Jackson by covering their songs without attempting their vocal styling. It was a Biz Markie party and that’s the way Tucson like it.
Coolio was the first performer to have a band instead of a DJ. That was a big plus since his band was filled with awesome musicians. Coolio commanded the crowd to wave their middle fingers in the air and the crowd complied with pleasure. He dedicated his show to Prince and Mohammad Ali early in the set. Coolio performed his hits “C U When U Get There” and “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Coolio shouted before he left the stage, “Keep on doing what you’re doing cause it works for you."
TLC, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, has made a big stab for a come back with their new album release three weeks ago. The self-titled album, TLC, was their first full-length studio album release in 15 years. This was a Kickstarter funded album. The tour this summer seems to be in support of the new album. The set contained some of the tracks from the new album as well as many old hits.
The stage was set with video screens, platforms, and lights. . The video a one point had images of the deceased member, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, with a photo montage spanning their years together Lopes seemed to be there in spirit.
There was a backing band with several male and female dancers that gave powerful performances. The ladies were clad in their shinny black and silver outfits. They went through all the hits, from “No Scrubs” and “Creep” to “Baby-Baby-Baby" and of course “Waterfalls,” Chilli was the most active dancer of the two and she has the ‘six-pack’ to prove it. T-Boz was the strongest singer that commanded everyone to stop and listen. The one-hour set seemed to gallop by in no time. For a complete set list, please click here.
The I Love the 90s Continued package was like a live action jukebox. It wasn’t too long or too short. The fans would have loved more TLC in the mix. Their songs seemed to be as relevant today as they were in the 90s.