I almost named this post, Cookin’ with Salt N Pepa but then I remembered they (as in the legendary music group Salt-N-Pepa) already used that title for their show on The Cooking Channel a few years ago! Whoops.
That title was brilliant though so well played ladies, well played.
Anyway, what’s with all the 90’s references? Because last Saturday, I took another trip back in time to check out the I Love the 90s Tour at the Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, GA!
I said “another” because last year I also covered the I Love the 90s: The Party Continues Tour! To check out my full review of that show, click here!
And if you’d like to reminisce over bright green overalls and crush leather suits, you can also check out my ugly flashback 90s fashion show by clicking here!
Although there’s some minor overlap and several variations of these concert line-ups, I essentially watched the sequel before watching the original. “Damn Gina!”
That’s like watching Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo before watching Breakin’. It’s just not right man. But hey, that’s why I’m a loner, Dottie…a rebel.
Anyway, acid washed bleached jeans? Check!
Biggie Smalls snapback (circa 94)? Check!
Throwback Kobe Bryant Jersey (circa 96)? Check!
Timberland Chukkas (timeless)? Check!
“I’m Ret to Go.” Let’s do this y’all!
Oh Snap! It’s time to go back….back to the future!
Cue the blurred, wavy-lined transition shot!
Since I still needed to pick up my ticket at the box office, I had to arrive extra early. I was literally the first one through the gates once they finally let people in, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for front row seats!
Once inside, they had the usual assortment of vendors, including a tent run by one of my favorite Atlanta radio stations, OG 97.9!
They play classic hip-hop throwbacks which was obviously appropriate for this concert!
Although, I have to say their music is way more impressive than their tent was because they literally had nothing on the table aside from a black tablecloth!
No contests, no t-shirts, no tickets, no swag. Huh?
Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely table cloth. I mean, it was waterproof and all but seriously, can a brotha get a keychain? A beer koozie perhaps? Not even a bumper sticker or something? “How much for one rib?” Geez. Thanks for nothing OG! #turnup
Anyway, after checking out a few other booths, I eventually made my way down to my seat.
As promised, I was escorted to the very first row! I could literally reach out and touch the speakers if I wanted to!
The DJ warmed up the crowd by playing old school classics as people slowly filtered in…. very slowly.
Although the entire venue, including the lawn, was jam packed and sold out by the end of the night, there were less than 100 people there at 6:30 pm. The concert was scheduled to start at 7 so I was surprised how empty it was so close to showtime. However, this ended up working in my favor!
At around 6:40, the host (who’s also Salt-N-Pepa’s manager) walked out and announced that the first 10 people who bought Salt-N-Pepa t-shirts would be able to dance with them on stage during their set!
What?! Wow, I’ve always been a huge Salt-N-Pepa fan, so a chance to be on stage with them would be incredible!
It would be like going back in time to high-five “grade-school Darrell” who had posters of them from “Fresh!” and “Word Up!” magazine on his wall!
Besides, #yolo right (for those of you in need of “an urban dictionary” that means “you only live once”)?
So, I started walking in what I thought was the direction of the t-shirt stand. However, as I made my way up the ramp, I didn’t see any shirts, so I turned around to head back to my seat.
My plan was to walk across my row to the other side of the arena since I figured the souvenir stand must have been over there instead.
Since there weren’t many people in the building yet, my chances of beating the crowd to buy a shirt in time were still pretty good!
As I was making my way back inside, the MC announced that several lucky people could also earn a t-shirt and a chance to dance with Salt-N-Pepa by winning a contest! Then he randomly started picking people from the crowd.
I hadn’t even made it back to my seat yet when he pointed in my direction and shouted, “guy in the yellow, get up here!”
Hold up, “guy in the yellow”? That’s me! (Thanks Kobe!)
I had no idea what the contest was, but it was about to be on like Donkey Kong!
Of course, it would have been much easier to just show you the footage instead of describing it. That’s why I handed off my phone to have “someone” record video for me while I was on stage.
Unfortunately, when she handed the phone back, all she managed to capture was this lovely close-up image of a security barricade and another of her thumb!
Um yeah, don’t quit your day job photographer friend…
So much for that plan, eh? Anyway, here’s what happened.
They ushered around 6 women and 4 guys onto the stage (including yours truly) as the host explained the rules.
Since it was a throwback concert, the DJ was going to play a popular old-school theme song and each one of us had to name the show it was from.
My years of binge watching TV was finally going to pay off! See? I told you Dad!
Although I felt fairly confident, when the first contestant guessed wrong and was disqualified, that definitely rattled me a bit! I thought they might go easy on her and still give her a pity shirt but nope, she was sent packing confused, embarrassed and empty handed! Dang.
Of course, I didn’t have very long to feel sorry for her, because suddenly the host was calling me forward to go next! Oh boy…
I started pacing to hype myself up like Eminem at the beginning of 8-mile. Good thing I didn’t have “mom’s spaghetti” earlier…I like this jersey.
After having me introduce myself, the arena fell silent as the DJ cued up the music for my big chance!
As happy as I was to have front row seats, if I blew the opportunity to go on stage during Salt-N-Pepa’s set, I would have been extra salty myself!
This moment had the potential to literally make or break my mood for the rest of the evening so I had to mentally pep talk myself so I wouldn’t blow it.
“Come on Darrell. You love TV! Be at one with the TV. You ARE the TV…”
Anyway, how relieved was I when “Moving on Up” came blasting through the speakers?! Thank God!
Hmm, if you don’t know what show that’s from, you may not be old enough to read this blog little one. In fact, I may need to see some ID, young buck. Ya whippersnapper. “The Jeffersons” was a classic!
Needless to say, I answered correctly and was given a Salt-N-Pepa t-shirt, a stage access wristband and instructions on when to make my way up! Whoomp, there it is…
How cool was that? I went from most likely spending $30 for a generic logo tee to getting this exclusive one for free! Check it out!
I’m honestly glad I was given The Jeffersons theme because a few of the other songs were much harder!
Although the easiest one they played was “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme which ironically was won by a local guy who’s also named Will Smith! True Story! I met him backstage before we went out to dance with Salt-N-Pepa!
They didn’t know that at the time, but it was still a funny coincidence.
Oh yeah, before we move on, my Fresh Prince shirt in the featured cover photos was my backup outfit in case they didn’t allow my tank top for some reason.
I already introduced this tee in a previous post but check it out again – did you notice Carlton dancing on the hood of the taxi? Classic.
I was actually surprised there weren’t more people wearing throwback 90’s fashion!
The audience for the last I Love the 90s concert was much more daring I suppose!
That one was held closer to my apartment in Duluth, GA though. Things get a little boujee on this side of town…but it was still a great time!
Anyway, on to the show!
Out first was the New Jack R&B swing group Entouch. Their biggest hits were “All Nite” and “II Hype.” Here’s one of their album covers from back in the day along with a few photos from their performance!
Next up was Thea Austin from the group Snap! If you read my review of the I Love The 90s: The Party Continues, she was at that one as well. She’s a great performer with tons of energy though so I was actually looking forward to seeing her again!
Her biggest hits were “Rhythm is a Dancer” and “The Power” which she impressively does the rap and hook for since she’s a solo act now. Saturday was also her birthday, so it was fun to celebrate with her. Here’s one of her album covers from back in the day along with a few photos from her performance!
Up next was Young MC! His most recognizable hit is “Bust a Move” but he’s actually released a lot of music since that song came out. Aside from his older hits, he also performed “Know How” that was featured in the movie “Baby Driver” last year. Here’s one of his old album covers along with a few photos from his performance!
Between each act, the MC and DJ’s did their thing hyping the crowd with throwback hits.
They even brought out a few surprise guests including a cameo appearance from rapper Positive K who did a few verses from his hip-hop classic “I Got A Man”! Check it out!
Next up was Tone-Loc! Wow, his iconic raspy voice hasn’t changed a bit! He performed several of his biggest hits including “Funky Cold Medina” and “Wild Thing.” Here are a few photos from his performance including a cameo from the birthday girl Thea Austin and select ladies chosen from the audience to join him on stage for his final song!
5 acts had already hit the stage yet the show was just getting started!
After another DJ set, the MC dragged Chauncey Black from the legendary R&B mega group Blackstreet to the stage! This one was literally just a cameo though since he didn’t perform, but it was still great surprise!
Color Me Badd was next to hit the stage! They also appeared at the I Love the 90s: The Party Continues tour but they were even better this time!
They ran through their chart-topping hits including “I Adore Mi Amor” “All 4 Love” and “I Wanna Sex You Up” plus a tribute to Michael Jackson and more!
When I saw them last year, there were a trio but now they’re apparently a duo (with the addition of several talented background dancers), so I’m not sure what happened but this performance was infinitely better than the last! Here’s a throwback album cover from back in the day along with a few photos from their performance:
Out next was Coolio sans several of his iconic braids! Aside from performing his Grammy award winning chart toppers, “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New),” “Fantastic Voyage” and “Gangsta’s Paradise,” he also performed a tribute to hip-hop and R&B legends who’ve passed away including Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC, Aaliyah, 2Pac and Biggie. He also led a cover of Purple Rain along with his live drummer, guitarist and his saxophone player who almost made the group of women to my left pass out several times (have you recovered yet Stephanie?)! Here’s a throwback album promo photo along with a few pics from his performance!
Next up was the legendary Rob Base! If you’re a hip-hop fan and love the 90’s as much as I do, this concert was insane!
Anyway, he performed a string of hits including “Joy and Pain,” “Get on the Dance Floor” and the platinum smash “It Takes Two.” He also paid homage to the late, great DJ E-Z Rock.
Although it’s always hard to replace a legend, his current DJ did a great job and extra credit for his throwback Scottie Pippen jersey. Wait a minute, I swear I used to have one of those too! I’ll have to get my mother on the phone to investigate what happened to it after I finish typing this! MOM!
Anyway, here’s an album cover from back in the day along with a few photos from his performance!
Last but not least were the headliners, the icons, the legends – Salt-N-Pepa with DJ Spinderella!
The irony about this entire night is that I literally posted lyrics from “Push it” on my social media accounts last month. I had no idea about this concert at the time, I just love the song! Who knew that several weeks later, I’d get to watch them perform that song live – classic bomber jackets and all?! Life is strange and beautiful isn’t it?
Anyway, their intro video really put into perspective just how huge and ground-breaking this trio is! Edgy, educational, award winning icons.
I had also completely forgotten that 2018 marks the 30-year anniversary of “Push it” being released as a single! What?! Anybody else feel old yet? (GET OFF MY LAWN!)
Speaking of which, what in the Benjamin button is going on with these 3? They appear to be aging backwards! They looked great! Pepa in particular made me feel like those ladies next to me during the saxophone solo earlier. Oh my…
Of course, there wasn’t any time for passing out because I had to listen for my cue to make my way to the stage soon! Ha, this is crazy. Me joining Salt-N-Pepa on stage during an actual concert!
Hold up, would I also need a spice name? Hmm, I’m not sure any of the remaining spices work well enough for a straight dude though. I mean, cinnamon and sugar sound like stripper names and paprika is just weird. How about Sriracha? At least it’s still a condiment…
Anyway, as per the instructions, I was supposed to make my way over to the stage entrance when they started to perform “Let’s talk about Sex.” Until then, I enjoyed the show as they performed hit after hit from their extensive catalog. Here’s one of many throwback album covers along with a few photos from their performance!
I was in mid-Roger Rabbit (look it up young blood) when I heard the instantly recognizable intro to “Let’s Talk about Sex” hit the speakers! It was time…
I made my way across the front row to the backstage holding area where they separated the guys and girls.
The women were first led to the stage to join Salt-N-Pepa for a rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Meanwhile, the fellas waited in the wings until they led us out for the next song – “What a Man.”
Fortunately, I had better help with the video assist for this one so instead of telling you what happened next, check it out for yourself!
*Note: It’s footage from 2 different phones spliced together so there will be a slight overlap around the 1 minute mark but let it ride. The entire piece is there – including Pepa giving us the “Bye Felicia” treatment at the end!
The quote I posted from “Push it” says “this dance is only for the sexy people” but apparently, they’ve changed that rule since they also let me up there!
Thankfully I didn’t trip and fall off the stage or anything!
Had I known I’d be dancing on stage with Icons later that night, I probably would have skipped my leg work out at the gym that morning!
I should have also stretched better! I’m getting older now, I’m surprised I didn’t pull a hammy!
As crazy as it sounds, that was actually the third time in the last 4 years I’ve somehow ended up on stage with music industry legends during their performances. The other 2 acts were MC Hammer and George Clinton with Parliament Funkadelic.
Had someone told me any one of those experiences would have happened 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed them!
I say this not to brag, it’s just funny where life takes you that’s all.
This one dude called me “the black Forest Gump” recently because I always end up randomly stumbling into epic adventures! Hmm, or at least I think that’s why he called me that. Although I do run fast, have an ex named Jenny and my ping pong serve is pretty devastating so hmm…
Anyway, Salt-N-Pepa kept the party going for another 20 minutes after I returned to my seat concluding with the aforementioned single “Push it” as confetti flowed from the rafters!
Wow, what an incredible night to remember. Salt-N-Pepa in particular haven’t lost a step! If anything, they’ve only gotten better like fine wine!
If you couldn’t tell from the descriptions, the I Love the 90s Tour is an amazing event! If any variation of this lineup hits your town, I definitely recommend pushing it to the box office to get your tickets asap! “P-Push it real good!”
What a Man – Salt-N-Pepa
It Takes Two – Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock
Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio
The Power – Snap!
All 4 Love – Color Me Badd
Wild Thing – Tone Loc
Bust A Move – Young MC
I Gotta Man – Positive K
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Will Smith
All Nite – Entouch
Do you have another song that fits today’s theme or a song that doesn’t but it so good we should check it out anyway? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Hopefully you enjoyed that trip down memory lane as much as I did!
They packed a lot into that concert so we’re obviously running a bit long here but before we head out, here’s your list of foodie holidays that occur between now and next post!
Oh yeah, and it’s not a food holiday but don’t forget about Father’s Day on the 17th as well!
If you’re looking for ideas, check out our #DoubleFML Deals and Discounts page for several hookups we’ve arranged for you to take advantage of!
Also, don’t forget to drop a comment below before you leave! #DontBeScrurred
I always love hearing from you so hit those social media icons on the main menu to follow me there as well!
Okay that’s a wrap everybody. Stay fresh 😉
Until next time my friends, May the Fork be With You…
“Words are free. It’s how you use them that may cost you…”