The line – up for So Pop read like the best of the Nineties – Lou Bega, Eiffel 65, Blue, Vengaboys, Aqua – it was the soundtrack of my High School years. Nostalgia hung heavy in the air as the first act of the night, Mr President, took to the stage. By the time B*WITCHED captivated us with their Irish charm, and we were half way through the nine act line-up, the crowd were buzzing. Two things quickly became apparent – 1. there were a lot on one-hit-wonders in the nineties and 2. no-one seemed to care.
Anita Doth from 2 Unlimited wowed audiences with her flawless vocals which haven’t altered in any way over the last 26 years, and when Lou Bega belted out Mambo No. 5 (A Litttle Bit Of) the entire stadium raised their voices with him. It must have been surreal for these artists to stand on stage and have lyrics they released more than 20 years ago sung back to them in one voice.
Stand-out performances also included the Vengaboys and Mr President – but for me – and this is entirely a personal choice – Blue were my pick. Although technically their debut album was released in 2001, I knew every song and remember listening to their album on repeat. To be afforded the opportunity to see them live was all my 17 year old dreams come to life.
While this was an all ages event, I would think twice before taking a child along. Fun fact about Nineties music – a lot of it is about sex and with groups like The Outhere Brothers asking if people wanted the clean or dirty version of their songs – this was a concert for mature audiences only.
While Aqua were the headline act, and arguably what the audience had been waiting for, it was slightly underwhelming. People started leaving the venue as soon as the last strains of Barbie Girl had dissipated, despite the fact the show wasn’t over. It seemed many people were unfamiliar with their other hits, and while a similar plight may have also befallen other acts, their much shorter time slots ensured it was not really an issue.
So Pop was everything I had hoped for – a fun, frivolous, entirely kitsch trip down memory lane – where the only things you need to pack are your scrunchie, bumbag and your dancing shoes.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The reviewer attended on Friday 1 February 2019 at Qudos Bank Arena. The So Pop tour continues in Adelaide, Auckland and Brisbane. More information can be found here.