So Pop @ Entertainment Centre, Adelaide 3/2/2019

Outside the venue it was the year 2019. Inside it was the 1990’s! Yes, we went back in time to a place that was So Pop that we were ready to just dance all night. With a full on line up that included the biggest hits of the 90s it was one big dance party. I mean sure it was a Sunday night and a 5:30pm start but inside the Adelaide Entertainment Centre you would’ve though it was 2:00am in a dark strobe lighted nightclub.

Mr President started off the party with his big hit Coco Jumbo which got the crowd all up in a frenzy. Singing in his deep almost Barry White barotones dressed in a slick and stylish blue suit which mind you as each song finished a layer of clothing was taken off. Did the ladies in the audience mind? Errr is it politically correct to say no? We got some other 90s hits from him like Tag Team’s Whoomp There It Is, Reel to Real’s I Like To Move It and the mega fun party pop song LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem. Fun set. Mr President set the party precedent.

Who remembers The Outthere Brothers? If I said Boom Boom Boom or Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle) you would know right away. These boys from Chicago shook their booties and got the crowd raising their hands in the air like they just didn’t care. I mean it’s only 6:00pm and the crowd were going off like it’s a Saturday night.

Lou Bega came on and showed us his Mambo No 5. Always a crowd favourite even if most people don’t like to say that out loud. Bega had his dancing girls Monica on one side and Erica on the other while singing more of his hits like Sweet Like Cola and I Gotta Girl.

One act that always brings the energy to these kinds of 90’s shows is 2 Unlimited. With techno hits a plenty they could just do a whole show on their own. They sang them all. The Real Thing, Twilight Zone, No Limits and really getting our hands up in the air with Get Ready For This. By this point the crowd was jumpin’ jumpin’. They took us to the jungle with Tribal Dance then our bodies went into techno shock with Let the Beat Control Your Body before finishing up with Jump For Joy.

Next on was the Europop DJs Eiffel 65 playing their popular hits Blue and Move Your Body. They played a touching tribute to much loved and sorely missed DJ Avicii with his song Without You where the crowd went crazy and sang so loudly the roof would’ve rattled!  Another highlight was the mash up of Queen’s We Will Rock You to AC/DC’s Back in Black.

After all that techno and dance Irish lasses B*Witched brought pop to the stage with their hits Rollercoaster, Jesse Hold On and UK number 1 To You I Belong which everyone was encouraged to switch their phone lights on to set the mood for the song. The Abba medley went down a treat and got us bopping along. That intro to Take a Chance always gets the feet tapping as well as Dancing Queen and Mama Mia. For their hit Blame It On the Weatherman they brought the props and the umbrellas came out in full swing before saying goodnight. Hang on! What about the hit we were all waiting for? Oh, that’s right walk off stage then come back on for an encore! The cheers started after the first beats of C’est La Vie and what a surprise when it was mashed up with Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl.

The four UK lads Blue brought the boy band element to So Pop and weren’t all the girls happy. Lots of screaming going on and yes it was warranted because they are no longer boys but handsome well toned near middle aged men who still have that “it” factor. I know it’s not politically correct to talk about how sexy they were, so I won’t. With their smooth and silky vocals, they gave us their hits of All Rise, Bubblin’, Fly By, Too Close which again I wont mention how sexy that song was because its not appropriate as well as I Can, If You Come Back and finishing off on One Love. The lads still have it going on and should still record new material. As one guy in the crowd told me “They killed it!”

Ok a So Pop party is not a party unless you have the Vengaboys. These guys and girls are just a bundle of energy and full of fun. Starting off with a short intro version of Boom Boom Boom mashed with the Aussie anthems of Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! and the Australian national anthem it was a ripper intro to start the party. They sang all the favourites like We’re Going to Ibiza, Shalala Lala, Kiss (When the Sun Don’t Shine), I Wanna Get Drunk, Uncle John from Jamaica and Up and Down where they asked the crowd to light up our phones and wave our arms up and down.

A Vengaboys show is like an intense workout at the gym. You dance, wave your hands and giant balls are thrown into the audience for good measure to get your heart rate up more than at a cardio session. By the time they sang We Like To Party the crowd were so pumped and even the people in the seats were up dancing. Playing an encore of We’re Going To Ibiza and ending with a full version of Boom Boom Boom the Vengaboys are the ultimate party band and even if you’ve seen them before you still get that feel good vibe.

The last and most rocking act was Aqua. Forget about Barbie Girl which of course was on the list. Aqua had a full band and they were ready to rock. They started with the popular dance hits like Around the World, Happy Boys & Girls, My Oh My and of course the infamous Barbie Girl which got a rousing reception. Lead singers Lene Nystrøm and René Dif rocked the stage with their energy and chemistry and held command of everyone in the venue from start to finish.  At one point Nystrøm yelled out “We were told we can’t talk much cos we have a time limit. Do we give a shit?” And they crowd yelled out “No!”

The slower yet guitar rockier My Mama Said got the edgier songs off to a great start but before the real rock started there was the fast paced favourite Dr Jones then slowing it down with the Sliding Doors theme song Turn Back Time. Cartoon Heroes made the list and during the song Nystrøm came into the front rows and sang and even kissed some of the people in the crowd. It was obviously she was so excited to be in Adelaide as the last time they were to tour here they had to cancel due to health reasons. She was so playful she even grabbed the security guard’s hair not once but twice and gave him a bit of a rustle much to his surprise. He secretly loved it!

To mix things up they invited eight girls and one guy up on stage to help get the dancing and jumping started again to the song Back in the 80’s. Dif was being playful when he grabbed one of the girls’ phone and shoved it down his pants. There was lots of hugging and kissing for those lucky to be on stage. The last songs were where thrash met rock. The band were brilliant and it was when the bubble gum pop Aqua we knew had disappeared. It was loud and rocky and when they told us to get on the floor to jump on command that’s exactly what we did. In fact, we did it twice during the last song Roses are Red. It was fun to see the crowd all crouched down and then jump up. What a way to finish an action packed 90s pop event!

Live Review By Anastasia Lambis

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