Vanilla Ice, still the mega party boy, headlined Canalside Live on Saturday night, bringing his cartoonish dance party/roadshow to town. Dubbed “I Love the ’90s Tour” in other cities (according to his official website), it features a masked DJ and drummer laying down the dance beats, a pair of dancing Lucha Libre mask-wearing clowns, and his grand invitation to revel.
The large post-holiday crowd of a wide age range came to party, some still in Old Glory regalia from the Fourth of July. Vanilla Ice sported a stylized American flag trucker cap along with Ferrari jacket and workboots – his rap uniform.
Lifelong Vanilla Ice fan, Mike DeBellis, came in ’90s wear. His glimmering gold lamé suit and chains inspired “25 or 30 people” to take selfies with him.
“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 got their movies at Blockbuster?” a few times and “Who wore fanny packs?” to knit together those nostalgic for “block parties back in the day.”
“Who made babies to Ice Ice Baby?” Vanilla Ice asked, with a smattering of hands going up, before he and beat-makers did the disco-era Wild Cherry hit “Play that Funky Music.”
“Come up and dance with me. And if you’re dressed up as a Ninja Turtle you better bring it,” he said, making a wry reference to his dance hit “Ninja Rap.” Approximately three dozen audience members complied, dancing gleefully and crushing in on the headliner.
The DJ Snake/Lil Jon dance classic “Turn Down for What,” Bob Marley’s sacrosanct “No Woman, No Cry” and “Redemption Song” completed the show, with Vanilla Ice shouting “Ain’t no party like a Buffalo party cuz a Buffalo party don’t stop!” Buffalo party concurred.
“Good night Buffalo, positivity always wins, always!”