Saturday night, Downtown Sacramento streets were crowded as fans bundled up in the cold to make their way into the Golden 1 Center for V101’s Holiday Throwback Jam concert. As some of the music’s most memorable artists from the 80s, 90s, and 2000’s were preparing to hit the stage, the anticipation grew as V101’s on-air personalities Pacey, Ashley Caprice, and Big Al hosted the event.
The audience rose to their feet as the 80’s female Hip Hop trio JJ Fad warmed up the arena with their high energy electro-rap record “Supersonic”. Dancing and pumping around the stage in true 80’s fashion, the ladies put the audience in a zone reminiscent to the good ol days when asymmetrical hair, spandex, baggy jackets, rope chains, and door-knocker earrings were staples in Hip Hop. The former Ruthless Records group kept the crowd going and paid homage to the late Eazy-E as their DJ spun “Boyz-N-The Hood in a brief tribute. The vibe was nothing short of a blast from the past, highlighting a time in music when the birth of female Hip Hop paved the way for today.
Baby Bash was well received amongst the audience as they chanted along to the mellow rhythm of “Suga Suga”. The crowd grooved to “Baby I’m Back” and danced in the aisles to his collaborated T-Pain club record “Cyclone”. Baby Bash’s performance brought his fans to the forefront without the slightest hesitation. Despite very minor technical difficulties with sound, Bash kept the party going and even brought out Vallejo Chicano rap artist Jay Tee of N2Deep to perform the 1992 record, “Back to the Hotel”. Bash was the only artist to share his set with a surprise guest, and it appeared his fans were far from disappointed.
The evening had a sultry and soulful R&B transition as Ginuwine, En Vogue, and Blackstreet performed their individual sets. Ginuwine sang “Same Ol G”, “Stingy”, and catered to the ladies with “In Those Jeans”. Adding to his already sensual yet provocative stage vibe, he sang a brief interlude of Jodeci’s “Freakn’ You” and of course his biggest hit record “Pony”. Of the three R&B acts, Ginuwine’s proved to be the most memorable with his mini musical tribute to the late great King of Pop. The crowd erupted in euphoria as the R&B crooner sang and danced to Micheal Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, and “Billy Jean”. Ginuwine even stepped off stage to give his fans a treat, walking through the crowd to interact them.
En Vogue graced the stage shortly after, bringing their signature soulful melodic sound. Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, and Maxine jones gave an awesome performance despite a noticeably absent Dawn Robinson. They all sounded amazing as they performed their bluesy hit “Giving Him Something Ge Can Feel”, “Hold On” and “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” with flawless harmonies and synchronized choreography. “Don’t let Go” and their Salt-N-Pepa collaborative record “What A Man” also made the list.
Blackstreet performed exceptionally well with “No Diggity”, and “Don’t Leave Me”. The crowd swayed to the lyrics and even a select few received long stemmed red roses. Another obvious missing piece was front man Teddy Riley, who was not in attendance at all. Nevertheless, the show went on with the remaining group members and the show switched gears back into Hip Hop mode.
Juvenile hit the stage solo performing hits from the Cash Money’s early 2000’s golden era. “Bling Bling”, Big Tymer’s “Still Fly” and “Ha” were amongst the selected songs but “Back That Azz Up” was clearly what his fans came for. Juvie’s lyrical content was a tad racy for the mixed audience but he still received the love from his day one fans who recited every word.
The Zapp Band, hands down, stole the entire show. To see them perform was truly a spectacle indeed! Zapp brought the funk and a theatrical experience right along with it. It wasn’t just their songs “Computer Love” or the “California Love” records that got everyone on their feet; it was a feel good atmosphere that fans from all ages were able to enjoy. The stage was their playground as they performed “More Bounce to the Ounce” and gave everyone what they paid to see and more with over three costume changes, live instruments, and all around great energy.
As the finale, Bone Thugs N Harmony closed the show. The energy was still high from the Zapp Band and BTNH fans were eagerly waiting as a random thin veil of cannabis smoke floated to the ceiling. All members were present and Bone put on a great show. They performed “First of The Month”, “Notorious Thugs”, “Thug Luv” and a variety of other songs, giving the crowd another Eazy-E tribute similar to their Ruthless Records label mates JJ Fad.
The Throwback Holiday Jam was an overall musical time machine that gave fans from all different backgrounds an opportunity to enjoy their favorite artists from different eras under one roof. The only slight downside of the show was the lack of fluidity in transitioning from performance to performance, however, something so minor couldn’t possibly overshadow one of the best Hip Hop, Funk, and R&B throwback concerts Sacramento has seen.