Over The Weekend: Vanilla Ice at Trees

Vanilla Ice
Trees
September 19, 2009

Better than: Cool As Ice, the movie. (It was called that right? Right.)

Rob Van Winkle and one of his adoring fans.
Rob Van Winkle and one of his adoring fans.
Dylan Hollingsworth
Well, he sure took his time in getting out on stage. In fact, it wasn't until almost 1 a.m. when, mercifully, Vanilla Ice finally showed his face to the too-large-to-be-believed crowd at Trees on Saturday night.

But few in the crowd seemed to mind. Which, believe it or not, was not the weirdest part of the evening.

No, that honor goes to the throngs of impossibly starstruck young women who jumped on stage at Ice's command, happy to flank Rob Van Winkle while dancing and having him pour bottles of water all over their writhing figures.

As for the performance itself? Well, as the above example shows, it was more flash than substance, although, surely, that comes as no surprise.

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The real surprise, rather? That after years of ridicule and running from his image, Dallas' own Rob Van Winkle now finally seems comfortable with his past. He smiled from ear-to-ear as the crowd shouted along every lyric to his performance of his smash hit, "Ice, Ice Baby"--after which, he thanked the audience for allowing him to have sold 48 million records, natch. Perhaps even more surprisingly, he--not once, but twice--launched into renditions of his "Ninja Rap" from the live-action movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze and admitted that he "still [loves] the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, man."

What wasn't surprising, though? How short Ice's set lasted--couldn't have been more than 40 minutes, which makes sense, as too few in the audience were likely aware of the rest of his catalog. Still, it was a water bottle-tossin', Jagermeister-chuggin'-filled time, high energy throughout, for which, perhaps, the set does deserve its due.

Oh, and speaking of dues: Yes, Ice paid them to his drummer, Trees owner Clint Barlow, whom he thanked for hosting the show and for opening the club.

"I love live music," Ice announced to the crowd. "Help support Trees. Help support live music."

Doubtful that this is the kind of crowd that's likely to do so, but hey, his intentions were good. 

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
After Motorheard let out, I stopped by Trees just to see if this show had started yet. It hadn't. So, yeah, I stuck around. Hey, I owned To the Extreme once upon a time. Who didn't? Also, at age six, I may or may not have had spiked hair as an homage to Ice's own high-top fade. But this I will neither confirm nor deny.

By The Way: Everyone in Ice's band, according to Ice, is from Dallas. Represent!

Random Note: In case you were curious, Surreal Life fans, Ice says he still loves Ron Jeremy.


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