Words & Deeds

Concert to remind Boise ‘I Love the ’90s’ on Thursday

Word to your mother! In this 1991 photo, Vanilla Ice shows off awards he won in the rock and rap categories at the American Music Awards.
Word to your mother! In this 1991 photo, Vanilla Ice shows off awards he won in the rock and rap categories at the American Music Awards. The Associated Press

If you spend any part of your weekend browsing thrift stores, don’t bother hunting for that elusive pair of vintage Hammer pants.

The newsroom air conditioner is making them billow on my legs as I write this.

It’s never too early to start training for the “I Love the ’90s Tour,” which is headed to the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Outlaw Field on Thursday, Aug. 25.

In a Boise summer packed with concerts — yet not quite teeming with exceptional shows — this outdoor party is a slitted-eyebrow raiser. Who better to spice up a dog-days music calendar than Salt-N-Pepa and Vanilla Ice, not to mention Color Me Badd, Tone Loc, Rob Base and Young MC?

That lineup borders on ridonkulous. It’s like the most mockable elements of all eight years of the Boise Music Festival. I kiss the Ring Pop of the tour’s organizer.

Like you, I ignored these mainstream hip-hop acts when they were popular. I was too busy pretending to be cool and wearing flannel to Nirvana and Soundgarden concerts.

But nostalgia is a wicked, powerful foe. Ubiquitous pop culture that seemed lame decades ago feels inexplicably awesome decades later.

Picture a crowd shrieking “Go Ninja, go Ninja, go!” while Vanilla Ice busts a move with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on stage beneath the Table Rock cross. This falls right in my fun wheelhouse. I have no rational explanation for this. It’s horrifying.

If you pony up $65 plus fees — time travel ain’t cheap — you’ll hear memorable ’90s anthems “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Shoop,” “Ice Ice Baby,” “I Wanna Sex You Up,” “Funky Cold Medina,” “It Takes Two” — and plenty more.

Can you imagine how many wine-guzzling fans will be drowning out the performers with karaoke? Girls night out, anyone?

It sort of goes without saying that this 5:30 p.m. marathon will be no place for music snobbery. So get over that.

Live rap sometimes doesn’t sound quite like the record, despite the prerecorded instrumental tracks. But this tour brings yet another caveat. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that one or more of these acts weren’t world-class performers 20-plus years ago.

If that turns out to be the case, they’re gonna be that much Color Me Badder, older and fatter now. (Trust me, you won’t even recognize that R&B group’s frontman, Bryan Abrams.)

Who cares? It’s difficult to envision “I Love the ’90s” as anything but sweat and smiles for euphoric Gen-Xers. Vanilla Ice, who will finish the night with his Turtles, still brings a show. (Even if the show he’s known for now involves house renovation on HGTV.) And we all fell in love with Salt-N-Pepa again during their TV ad campaign for Geico a couple of years ago.

Oh, and have you really forgotten what an irresistible jam “It Takes Two” is? Go listen to some old-school Rob Base. You’ll magically remember that epic junior-high dance routine you’d forgotten until this moment. It’s also a reminder that you need to commit to a hardcore exercise routine immediately if you hope to survive. (Try P-’90s-X.) Nobody is going to stop grooving at this concert. Not for a second. For once, dancing while you wait in line for the bathroom will look normal, even with a tortured grin.

The only downside to this tour? Despite being stuffed with more delicious ’90s cheese than a Hot Pocket, the Boise lineup does not include Kid ’n Play or Coolio. Both have appeared in other cities. (Coolio performed here last weekend at the Boise Music Festival, of course.)

In the words of Salt-N-Pepa, I guess there’s no need to push it.

▪  Tickets go on sale July 8. Online: ilovethe90stour.com.

Kids now allowed in Idaho breweries

If you’ve walked past the massive new Payette Brewing Co. but never stopped for a pint because your kids were along, you’re now able to reconsider.

Children are allowed inside Idaho breweries beginning July 1, when House Bill 649 takes effect. The new law treats licensed breweries the same as wineries, which can let minors on the premises.

Payette — at 733 S. Pioneer St. near the Boise Greenbelt — is throwing a Kids Day party to celebrate. The July 1 event will include a luau-themed bounce house (5 to 9 p.m., free), Boise Balloon Guy (6 to 8 p.m.), Big Mike’s Ice Cream Tractor (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.) and live music from bluesy, 14-year-old singer-guitarist Zack Quintana and his band (7 to 10 p.m.).

Payette’s taproom in Boise and at the original Garden City location will be kid-friendly, meaning minors are welcome during normal business hours. (That’s 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at the Boise facility). But Idaho breweries are not mandated to allow children. Idaho Brewers United Executive Director Sheila Francis says that many still are mulling their policies, which might include all-ages areas or a time cutoff.

Minors won’t be allowed after 7 p.m. at Boise Brewing, 521 W. Broad St., which posted rules on its website. The brewery added: “We will do our best to work with the new policies we have created, but they will remain open for adjustment as needed.”

Michael Deeds: 208-377-6407, @michaeldeeds

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