On Saturday, Mrs. Cutter, Bird, and myself ventured out to Fairfax, Virginia to attend the Celebrate Fairfax festival. Normally, we would not travel all that distance for a simple festival, but they would be having a live performance by The Old Skool All-Stars: The Sugarhill Gang, Tone Loc, and Naughty By Nature. Naughty by Nature is my all-time favorite group, and I even based my email address on the main rapper’s name. So we were definitely going to be seeing this.
We walked around the carnival area for a little while, which was enough time for Bird to waste $6 losing at a basketball shooting game. We pretty much had to pull him away before he blew all of his money. Sadly, he was not able to win me the Scooby Doo doll wearing a “Bling Bling” shirt.
We then went to a beer/wine testing area, where for $5 you got four tastes of beer and wine. None of the selections really impressed me that much. What did impress me was a nearby tent for Nestea iced tea, which was advertised as “Liquid Awesomeness.” They gave out samples of delicious Nestea, and had machines where you could test your awesomeness. And while the machine did indeed confirm that I was pretty awesome, I was not ranked as high as I thought I should be.
Still, I came away very impressed. It was almost like they designed this ad campaign specifically for me. They even have a cool website: http://www.liquidawesomeness.com
I had a slice of generic pizza for dinner, but was later disturbed to find that they had bigger, cheaper Papa John’s pizza available elsewhere. Seeing how I love Papa John’s, this was really kind of upsetting for me.
We got some good seats near the stage, and waited for the show to begin. Sadly, we were told that Tone Loc would not be able to make it. The crowd’s disappointment was quickly erased when we were told that Rob Base would be there instead. And really, aside from maybe Biz Markie, I can’t think of a better substitution.
The show started out with the Sugarhill Gang. They brought a lot of energy, and even did some new songs which sounded pretty good. Of course they did their hits like “Jump On It” and “Rapper’s Delight”.
Next up was Rob Base (along with sidekick Kyle Riffkin), who was known for his two hits: It Takes Two and “Joy and Pain.” Of course, when you’ve got a half hour plus set and only two popular songs, you need some filler material, and Rob’s way of filling time was audience interaction. He had the crowd constantly shouting things. He even went through the zodiac signs, to see which was the most popular. We thought he might start polling the audience about their favorite letter of the alphabet, but finally he went into “Joy and Pain” to close out the set.
Up last was Naughty by Nature. I had never seen them in concert before, so I was excited. Sadly, original DJ KG is still not with them, but it didn’t matter that much. They opened with O.P.P. and did most of their hits. Like any rap concert, they deviated a bit near the end, and sampled a few other hip hop hits from the 90s like “California Love,” “Gin N Juice,” and “Nothin’ But a G Thang.” Finally, they closed with Hip Hop Hooray, and had people waving their arms back and forth like it was 1993 again.
It was great to see them live for the first time. There’s always a fear that an older group will come back and be an absolute train wreck, but that was definitely not the case. The only negative was that my ears were really ringing afterwards.