Vanilla Ice in Concert: a rollercoaster of emotions. (a post by Anna)

I love the internet. I think it’s sooo fun. Apart from reading blogs and looking at stranger’s wedding photos, I am obsessed with finding random events and making an appearance.

For example, there was the time we met Danny Tamberelli (former known as Little Pete from the Nickelodeon childhood classic TV show, Pete and Pete.)

We hung out with Danny Tamberelli!

Or the time we found The Peeps Show, consisting of dozens of Peeps marshmallow candies in dioramas and a photo opp as a human Peep.

Here we are at the Peeps Show!

Or the time we played with a baby tiger super close to Davidson!

Our good friend Athena.

Anyway… two weeks ago Lee visited Shelbyville, TN, and we were looking for something to do on Saturday night. During a last minute internet search, I realized the real Vanilla Ice was in town…


No questions were asked. We went to see Vanilla Ice. In Christmas vests.

When we arrived, the bouncer and Lee had this conversation:
Lee: So… is the concert upstairs?
Dude: Yeah, out this door and to your right.
Lee: And… this is a Christmas Sweater party, riiiight?
Dude: Ummm… this is Vanilla Ice. That’s not really his thing. Why? Did you wear one.
Lee: Weeeeell… we both did! [We show our festive vests.]
All: [Awkward laughter]

Then we moved to the “waiting room bar” and evaluated the demographics. Young and old, but mostly mid-30s, filled in as we waited for the concert area to open up. Not a single person, apart from ourselves, in Christmas sweaters. But there was a strangely large percentage of Insane Clown Posse t-shirt wearers. It was weird. But didn’t bother us a bit.

Inside we saw this poster.

They apparently deleted, SWEATER PARTY!

Regardless, it was a night of many emotions. First came anxiety and fear. After waiting for about an hour, we started to hear a party in the room next door. It was as though Vanilla Ice was performing, yet we couldn’t figure out how to get in. We racked our brains of ways to make it to the other side of the wall for about 10 minutes, growing more and more nervous that we were missing the whole concert. Eventually, someone informed us we were only hearing a mic check.

Our apprehension soon changed to anticipation, when they when they let us in the concert area. The bar staff herded us into the empty room, curiously embellished with Halloween décor. Apparently they just never took it down. This point signifies the moment where we realized the ridiculousness of our whereabouts.

Trying to fit in the crowd.

And from anticipation to irritation. We expected a concert close at hand, after a mic check and entrance to the stage area. Instead we were tantalized by a DJ exclaiming, “And now… what we’ve all been waiting for… Vanilla Ice!” Each time this happened, the crowd went wild and waited for him to emerge from backstage. What we didn’t realize was that this was about to go on for almost two hours. This torture lasted for so long that we actually wondered if Vanilla Ice was present at all.

Finally, around 1am, he appeared. Robert Matthew Van Winkle, himself. (His name holds special significance to us because it aided in our winning 2nd place at trivia this summer!!) It was a dream come true; and we were nothing except ecstatic for the rest of the eve. The dancing spot lights in the upper balcony added to the ambiance, though clearly just stage hands keeping the beat simultaneously with their handheld spot lights. In addition, a disgusting amount of smoke poured from the stage, making it both difficult to see and rather smelly. This concert was a sight to behold.

We were front, center of this.

Earlier, we had noticed a member of the stagecrew bring out a case of bottled water and open each individual bottle in advance, but little did we understand why. We soon realized Vanilla Ice would not use this water to quench his thirst; instead, he would use approximately three bottles per song for the sole purpose of spraying it all over the audience. Our front and center location made us prime targets for V.I.’s water bottle showering.

Slightly drenched.

Not only did Nilla intend to shower us with water, but he also brought on stage an assortment of inebriated women to dance, arming each one with their own water bottle. These women did not have near the aiming talent that he possessed to make water hit as many people as possible; instead the women turned their bottles upside-down wherever they were and those beneath took the fall. In our case, I instinctively used Lee as a shield, and she sure took it like a good sport. Needless to say, she looked like this.

Lee, slightly more drenched.

Nilla’s only recognizable songs were his Ninja Turtle rap (from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie) and Ice Ice Baby. All his other songs were unknown, except to this one 40 year old man who happened to know every single word to all Vanilla Ice’s songs and rapped them behind us with all his might.

It's Vanilla Ice!

After Vanilla Ice had rapped Ice Ice Baby mid-concert, we exited the scene completely satisfied. I’m still not sure how he could’ve ended the concert, other than repeating his one hit wonder again, but that was of no interest to us. We had gone, seen, and conquered. Mission complete.


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