What do you get if you cross RNB Fridays Live with A Day on the Green? RNB VINE DAYS! Combining the opportunity to indulge in old school RnB classics from Blackstreet, TLC and Boyz II Men, whilst getting drunk at a winery. Talk about the ultimate Sunday Session! And wine not hey?
As a teen of the 90s this gig was totally my thing and No Diggity No Doubt today was going to be Crazy, Sexy and Cool.
TLC T-shirt – check!
No Diggity back pack – check!
Wet wipes – check!
Bus journey to McLaren Vale with RnB playlist to get us in the mood – check!
Excitement on the bus grew and important issues were discussed such as which hits will be played? Will I get a rose from Boyz II Men? Will we get a good spot at the front and if so, how am I going to cope without eating/drinking/going to the toilet for 5 hours? Also why haven’t they formed an old school RnB boyband super group called The Blackstreet Boyz II Men? But I digress…
We arrived at Leconfield Wines to a mixed crowd of people including those who were old enough to remember when this music first came out in the 90s, as well as a younger audience who were barely born back then but thanks to RNB Fridays have been introduced to this awesome genre of music.
Half way through Yo! Mafia’s DJ set we found a prime spot near the front of the stage. Tasked with the mission to get an audience up and dancing at the start of the event whilst they’re still sober(ish), this chick really knew how to get the party started. Regardless of the fact that I was keen to get my 10,000 steps in for the day, as soon as Yo! Mafia dropped some vintage Whitney Houston I also wanted to Dance with Somebody and kept on dancing for the rest of her set. But it was easy when she brought an energy and vibe that was pretty infectious. The more fun she was having up there on the stage the more we found ourselves having a good time too. Accompanied by video clip mash ups on the screen, this totally helped distract us from the fact that we were essentially dancing in public, in daylight, in a field, totally sober on a Sunday arvo.
Keeping the party vibe going was DJ Horizon who continued to bring the bangers including UB40s Red Red Wine for the LOLz (which surprisingly was the only ‘wine’ related song that I heard all day). Unfortunately instead of video mashups his set mainly featured sponsor ads on the big screen for Schnitz which I found quite effective as by this point I was REALLY craving a schnitty since I had failed to pack snacks but was committed to my front of stage prime position and couldn’t leave. (Sorry Schnitz, I’m sure you were delish). #firstworldconcertproblems
“What songs did they do besides No Diggity?” – Most of the crowd and I before Blackstreet came on stage. Then as soon as they kicked off with Don’t Leave Me we were all like “Yessss! This one!” *Cue first sing along to power ballad for the day* One of the original old school RnB groups, Blackstreet sounded as good as they did back in the day and remained true to RnB tradition by “dedicating this one to all the ladies.” After performing hits such as U Blow My Mind and Before I Let You Go they decided to throw a bunch of T-shirts into the crowd which (although seemed like a good idea at the time) in hindsight might’ve been safer just buying one from the merch tent than risk getting bashed in the head for a freebie. Just sayin. As they announced “we always bring gifts for the ladies,” for some that may have been in the form of a free T-shirt, but for me the real gift was their final song and no doubt what we had all been waiting for, No Diggity. Surprisingly mashed up at the end with 80s classic Shout by Tears for Fears. Pretty random right? But it worked well. (Further Google research lead me to a performance of Cher Lloyd on UK X-Factor 2010 where she performed said mash up – FYI. So maybe not so random after all).
Next up was our girl crush faves TLC! We were treated to an hour long journey through their hits starting where it all began with What About Your Friends and Aint 2 Proud 2 Beg from their 1992 debut album Oooooooh… On the TLC Tip. (That’s right, 1992. I had it on cassette. How old does that make me feel!) Classics such as Diggin on You, Creep and Unpretty were followed by Red Light Special featuring a lucky guy from the audience getting a cheeky lil’ (PG rated) lap dance from Chilli. Bless.
As well as the classics, they performed songs from their latest album ‘TLC’ which was released last year and yeah I didn’t know this either! (Spotted: T-Boz and Chilli mouthing to each other “They don’t know this one!” and laughing. Hopefully that wasn’t at us). It was great to hear some new material from them after all these years and one of the highlights was Way Back, a classic throwback song reminiscing on the old days. “Cos we all have someone we go way back with…” Amirite ladies? *cue drunken hugs from groups of old high school friends that have reunited for this event*
Chilli then pauses for a moment to have a chat and offers some wise words of wisdom telling us to not bother with guys who don’t have a car or any money. (“Preach girrrrl! I hear ya sista!” – all the women in the audience). Cue man hating / female empowerment anthem and the song we were all waiting to hear – No Scrubs. Followed by the other song we were all waiting to hear, Waterfalls.
Regardless of the fact that TLC now consist of 2 out of 3 of the original line up, T-Boz and Chilli really know how to work the stage and put on an awesome show, together with their talented band and amazing dancers. Left Eye may be gone but definitely not forgotten and her presence was still felt via backing tracks and images on the big screen.
With one last act to go, the crowd was getting messy and I was trying to deal with girls half my age pushing in front of me. I was hangry and this was not the right time to be killing my vibe. Luckily my old person passive aggressiveness scared them away just in time before Boyz II Men bounded on stage in their obligatory old school RnB all white outfits and flowy shirts complete with dance moves as smooth as their vocals.
Churning out the hits Motownphilly, On Bended Knee and 4 Seasons of Loneliness it was obvious that these guys have still got it. Or perhaps they never lost it? This was especially evident during one of the highlights of the night when they got off their power ballad stools, grabbed a couple of guitars and treated us to an edgier side most of us had not seen of the guys as they performed an epic medley of covers including: Jamming, Are You Gonna Go My Way, American Woman, Locked Out Of Heaven and Come Together. Shawn, Nathan and Wanya looked like they really enjoyed this part of the show and I’m sure it was because it would’ve been way more fun than sitting on stools and throwing power ballad fists in the air like they usually do. (Not that there is anything wrong with that).
Speaking of power ballads, the opening bars to I’ll Make Love to You meant one thing. Cue red rose distribution to the audience (and also cue witnessing bitch fights between grown women for said roses). This is the second time I’ve missed out on a rose at a Boyz II Men gig and I’m not bitter at all. Nor was I giving daggers to the chick near me that somehow got 3. (Seriously though, how did she manage that?!) Finally I couldn’t have picked a more suitable song to finish off the night with than the ultimate karaoke sing a long classic, End of the Road. What a perfect end to an awesome day.
And as we came to our own End of the Road, on the journey of old school RnB that was RNB Vine Days, we began to embark on another journey that was finding our drunk friends, locating the mini bus and praying that we could get home from McLaren Vale via a junk food establishment that was still open.
Until the next RNB Vine Days event…
Review By Flower Knutas