It was a night made up of ten acts designed to remind us of a simpler time. People of all ages attended, making the Moda Center come alive. It was a night with promises of dancing and good music, with heavy hitting 80s acts like Lisa Lisa, the Jets, Expose, Taylor Dayne, on the bill.
Walking into the Moda center was like walking into a time machine. There were neon colors, big hair, and slick 80s dance moves all around. Whether fans first came to love this music as a child, teen, or adult, everyone from the venue’s ushers to concert goers were in an abnormally good mood with smiles and happiness all around.
The lights dimmed and the party started with Newcleus taking the stage. They brought the energy that got the masses dancing, especially with their big hit “Jam On It.” Much later, after their set, the guys came down to the floor to say hi to a group of fans. Other attendees started to pool around them, and they said, “We are here to talk to our friends, we will see you soon.” They seemed very nice, genuine, and down to earth.
Next up was JJ Fad. These ladies were legit! Thoroughly entertaining and talented, time had not changed them much. Backed by N.W.A.’s DJ Arabian Prince, JJ Fad were one of the highlights of the night. Dania, Juana, and Michelle didn’t miss a beat and were the ones to really start the show. The audience went crazy with their smash hit ‘Supersonic’, and the large venue turned into a big dance party.
Keeping the high energy going was 69 Boyz. They burst onto the stage with intense swagger. You couldn’t help but dance along as they showed off their dance moves. Singing portions of some of the classic songs from that era, and, of course, making sure to entertain us with their smash hit, “Tootsee Roll.” They brought it so hard, that one of the members fell off the stage! He rebounded and was without injury.
Continuing with the hip hop genre, Tag Team took the stage. This duo kept the beats and again, time didn’t slow them down. It was really fun to people watch and see the crowd radiate in a memory of a time when life was much simpler. They absolutely brought the house down with their big hit “Whoop There It Is. People were jumping, dancing, singing, and waving their arms in the air. the people around me and all over start jumping. It was awesome!
The Jets, a family affair, were adorable. Two sisters and a brother, still going strong. While you may not remember the Jets by name, you certainly remember their hits. The most sing-along worthy of the group, the Jets were perfection. With the brother in the middle, his saxophone solo, was a refreshing element. The Jets are likely the cause of many of the 30 somethings in attendance being born.
Evelyn “Campagne” King. Woah, what a lady. Wearing a Cucamonga type outfit, she often positioned herself in front of a giant fan, allowing all of her ruffles to sway. Her voice was distinct and polished. She offered the sexiest performance, encoring all the ladies, to “get down” and “shimmy.” She was a class act, and a real performer with a voice that could be on Broadway.
I imagine the ladies in Expose were a force to be reckoned with in their heyday. They are beautiful, unique, and interesting. However, they were the worst act of the night. The tall pretty one, Ann, from New York sauntered across the stage with class, Jeanette kept it real with her sultry vocals and spunky attitude. However, expose’s sporty spice, Gioia was a hot mess. In that small 15-20 span of time, she showed agitation, took two water breaks, and was visually irritated at the sound engineer. It was embarrassing, and uncomfortable. It also appeared that there was a bit of lip syncing going on, but that was just from our vantage point.
Very few people can wear what Taylor Dayne wore, and an even smaller amount can sing like her. Ms Dayne wore a skin tight, see-through body suit adorned with rhinestones in all the right places. At 55, Ms. Dayne didn’t appear to have aged a day. With an even more mature voice, she performed like an elegant professional. She is still as beautiful as she is talented. While she moved a little slower, she reminded us of exactly why she was so relevant then…and now!
Lisa Lisa, was one of best performances of the night. While some of the artists looked as if they took some time to prepare their look and sound for the show, Lisa Lisa never left. Her small stature defies her giant voice. He shared the limelight with two amazing backup singers, and visually kept our interest with two of the best backup dancers. They all had their place, but they all were there in support of superstar Lisa Lisa.
Stevie B. was the first act to have an actual band on stage. Appearing in a white suit, in the style of an arena performer, he closed out the night.