Frugalista tip of the day? Make sure you are connected to your favorite local news sources, be they newspapers, magazines, or blogs, because you never know when they will offer a fab giveaway! This is how yours truly ended up ten rows away from New Edition’s 30th Anniversary Reunion Tour at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre last night (thank you WELD!). Savings? At least $102.05 per ticket plus the cost of VIP lounge and VIP parking access!
This was my first visit to the Oak Mountain venue, and although the night air grew chilly, the crowd was boisterous and the open air was refreshing. I had no trouble getting to my seat and settled in to enjoy the comedy stylings of Lightfoot (who does an extremely funny impersonation of Michael Jackson) as well as KISS 98.7 DJ Chris Coleman’s skills on the turntables. Both kept the audience’s anticipation of the main act up; if you weren’t laughing, you were dancing to some great hits. Lightfoot announced the headlining comedian, Earthquake, whose “These ain’t jokes” routine never gets old; he will appear at the Stardome Memorial Day weekend.
When Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph AND Johnny finally appeared – in dapper, Rat Packish burgundy jackets with black silk pocket squares, crisp white shirts, and black slacks, fedoras and dark shades – the crowd was ready. As they launched into hits ranging from “Count Me Out,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” and “Candy Girl” to “If It Isn’t Love,” “You’re Not my Kind of Girl” and “Can You Stand the Rain,” I have to say this ’80s baby felt transported back in time, to side ponytails , tight-rolled jeans and rotary phones (sigh). The guys danced with verve and were playful with the audience. During the breaks they cracked jokes; Bobby offered heartfelt testimony about the loss of Whitney Houston as well as his ongoing commitment to sobriety from narcotics. Bobby’s departure from the group was even lightheartedly addressed and led to an animated “dance off” to see if he could still keep up with the group’s trademark steps.
An additional treat? The audience got to hear the members’ hits from their solo and side group projects: Johnny Gill performed “My, My, My” (while tossing long-stemmed red roses into the audience, no less) and his newer song “In the Mood” (and ran up and down the front rows), Bell Biv Devoe performed “Poison,” Ralph Tresvant sang “Sensitivity,” and Bobby sang fan favorites ” My Prerogative” and “Tenderoni.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their funky band and DJ Shakim, who moved the crowd to their feet doing old-school dances like the Prep, the Wop, and the Cabbage Patch (watch a hilarious demonstration of those dances HERE).
By the end of the night I had lost the hearing in one ear (it still hadn’t “popped” as of this morning), my voice was hoarse from screaming and singing at the top of my lungs, and my feet were in serious pain from teetering on stilettos while I busted a move.
A fab night, indeed.
Images via New Edition Bham