The Scene: The 90’s were back in full force on Saturday night at Cervantes’ as J2G Live threw their annual 90’s Night party with some of the best musicians in Denver doing the heavy lifting. Early in the night 90’s music lovers started trickling in the door and it was evident from the get-go that folks had gone all out. There were tons of costumes that confused the best of 80’s fashion (Neon) with the best of 90’s (Flannel) and a ton of girls even got their hair crimped for the occasion. It was great to see people getting so into the spirit of the party and it was clear that 90’s Night grabbed a firm foothold in the Denver music scene in it’s third year.
Revenge of The 90’s III: This monumental tribute to all that the last decade of the 20th Century had to offer kicked off at The Other Side with an amazing acoustic set from The Whales that paid tribute to the institution that was MTV’s Unplugged. The band kicked things off with a note perfect cover of Nirvana’s version of The Meat Puppets’ “Lake Of Fire.” The skill with which the tune was delivered to the steadily growing crowd was a sign of things to come and as the group made their way through 90’s classics like REM’s “Losing My Religion” and Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” they were joined by James Dumm, Chris Speasmaker, and Skippy Huvard of Fox Street Allstars who helped to round out the trio’s sound.
Aubrey Hamrick joined the boys in her best flannel to play the role of Natalie Merchant on “These Are The Days” and though the song started off a little rough, things soon smoothed out and Hamrick showed off her pipes and wow’d the crowd. As the set drew to a close, Huvard put on his best Eddie Vedder growl for a stunning take on Pearl Jam’s “Daughter” before Wisneski took the reigns for the closer, a version of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” that got the whole crowd singing and swaying along in unison. I heard more than one person raving about the set as we all filtered back over to the Ballroom where VJ Mikey Thunder was spinning a set of 90’s videos to entertain the crowd as we waited for the main event to start!
At about ten minutes to eleven the lights went down and the crowd exploded when the opening notes of “Enter Sandman” pierced the darkness. James Dumm and Brian Hamilton shared guitar shredding duties as Huvard did his best James Hetfield and whipped the crowd into a headbanging frenzy as they screamed along with him. It was immediately apparent that the crowd came to sing, and sing they did . . . all night long. Songs like Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic” and the Hootie & The Blowfish chart topper “Hold My Hand” were perfect sing-alongs as beers sloshed to the floor and people threw their arms around longtime friends.
Midway through the set, four beautiful ladies took to the stage and got many of the guys in the crowd swooning with the one-two punch of Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” and the Spice Girls hit “Wannabe.” The quartet of Kim Dawson, Aubrie Hamrick, CC Chambers, and Jenny Anderson lit up the stage with synchronized dance moves, sweet harmonies and sultry vocals as they played it up to the guys in the front of the house who called out their names and begged for phone numbers.
Throughout the night all genres were represented and when James Dumm took the stage in a ten gallon hat, the whole crowd knew what was coming. Garth Brooks dominated the Country charts in the 90’s and even made the cross over into the mainstream and Dumm and the rest of Fox Street Allstars nailed “Friends In Low Places” as Wisneski helped out on guitar. After a taste of the weird and wonderful world of Beck’s “Where It’s At,” Jeff Prah took the stage draped in an American flag to deliver a raging version of Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba.” As the audience sang along at the top of their lungs, Adam Lufkin of Kinetix appeared on his knees impersonating Rock’s sidekick and hype-man Joe C. to the delight of the crowd.
The second set in the ballroom kicked of well past midnight and was primarily rooted in 90’s Hip-Hop and Dance tunes. Kicking off with Prah taking the stage as The Notorious B.I.G. and delivering a rowdy version “Juicy” the set got even wilder from there. “Informer” was followed by “Fantastic Voyage” but it was the four song run from “Getting Jiggy Wit It” through Madonna’s “Vogue” that was the highlight of the set. The MTHDS emcees did Will Smith proud and the ladies reappeared for Salt N Peppa’s “Whatta Man” before Prah brought the house down with Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy.” As if that song wasn’t entertaining enough, Prah shed his shirt and Dewey Duart of YAMN joined him on stage in his underwear. As the two danced around the stage, the audience was in stitches but Prah didn’t let the hilarity effect his spot on delivery of the tune.
“Vogue” was a fitting goodbye for the ladies and Anderson nailed her role as The Material Girl before the set got heavy with a pair of tunes from Prodigy and Daft Punk that kept the energy high as the clock ticked past 2am. As people closed their tabs, and gathered their belongings, we were all pulled back to the stage for the lone encore of Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow.” Huvard’s delivery was rough, rockin’, and very appropriate for 2:15am as he signaled the end of another fantastic tribute to the 90’s.
If you missed it this year, Revenge of The 90’s will be back next year . . . mark your calendars!
Stage Presence: A
Set/ Light show: B+