Vanilla Ice Performs at Club Ritmo

Rain was not enough to stop people from coming to see Vanilla Ice Friday night at Club Ritmo’s second show. The club debuted earlier this month with Tone Loc headlining.

Lyon Liew
Guardian

About 400 people packed the Stage at the Pub despite the wet weather outside.

Before the show began, A.S. Assistant Programmer Eisha Christian was optimistic about the night’s headliner.

“”I’ve heard really really good reports [about Vanilla Ice] because we do references on whatever act we bring to this campus,”” Christian said. “”Everyone’s pumped up and they love [Ice] and they definitely recommended him … so I’m expecting it to be awesome.””

A.S. Assistant Programmer Anahita Ferasat explained why Vanilla Ice was chosen to perform.

“”He has a good name and everyone knows him,”” Ferasat said. “”We wanted a little publicity for our club because we didn’t have a name yet.””

DJ Crazy and DJ Kurt Mueller of the DJs and Vinylphiles Club opened the show around 9 p.m. According to DVC president Andy Livingston, the group is very appreciative toward the club for asking them to play on such a regular basis.

“”I kind of like these events … because we get that other half of people who wouldn’t normally hear this kind of music,”” Livingston said. “”You know, if they hate it then they hate it … but if they like it, then that’s just more increased exposure.””

Ferasat praised DVC for its support of the club.

“”We absolutely love working with them,”” Ferasat said. “”We’re going to continuously work with them because they’re helping us, we’re helping them, it’s a very good relationship with them.””

Marshall sophomore Joanna Chang was curious to see the club for the first time.

“”I heard they turned the Pub into a club and so it sounded like a fun thing to do,”” Chang said.

Marshall sophomore Shabani Kapoor was also looking forward to the concert.

“”Yeah, sure it’ll be fun to see the ‘Ice Ice Baby’ guy,”” Kapoor said.

Ice took the stage at about 10:45 p.m. with guests Zero and Rod-J, who have been with him for over 10 years. Between songs, Ice worked the crowd by poking fun at mainstream music acts like the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC.

“”I want to thank everyone for embracing the real me, not some fucking product made up by the industry,”” Ice said during the show. “”You know I was paid millions of dollars and dressed like that crazy shit and you all would’ve done the same shit … so don’t be talking shit about no Vanilla Ice.””

Marshall senior Han Lee enjoyed Ice’s performance.

“”I think it’s good, I like it, he got the crowd into it,”” Lee said.

His set included a mix of newer material from his latest album “”Hard to Swallow,”” as well as his most famous hits like “”Ice Ice Baby”” and “”Play That Funky Music, Whiteboy.””

“”For the college deal we came and kind of did like an old school show tonight, so it was pretty fun,”” Ice said.

Toward the end of the show, Ice invited students on stage to free-style rap. Although only one person participated, the rest remained on stage to dance for the duration of the concert.

“”It was awesome, I had a great time,”” Ice said after his performance. “”I’ve been given like a second chance so I’m very grateful.””

He went on to promote his new album, which will feature guests from Insane Clown Posse, Soul Fly, Wu Tang Clan, Public Enemy and many other musical groups.

Ice said he wanted to clarify that his goal is not to make a comeback.

“”I let people know that I’m not trying to do what I did before, it’s not like I’m a product of the industry or a puppet on a string, you know, I kind of cut those strings and I’m off doing my own thing now,”” Ice said. “”It’s not so radio-friendly, it’s not so commercial or mainstream, you know, it’s just real.””

Ice said he would like the public to focus more on his music.

“”I learned that music is about expression … a lot of people pretty much want to know about my life and what I’ve been through,”” Ice said. “”It’s been a heavy roller coaster, from suicide to loneliness through all kinds of drugs and crazy things. The VH-1 special kind of showed a glimpse of that but the music is a much more personal part of myself … so I’m using music sort of as my release to exorcise my demons.””

After the performance, Christian remarked how Ice was a little more extreme than the A.S. Council had anticipated. She was referring to an incident late in the show in which the artist repeatedly encouraged female concert-goers to flash the rest of the audience.

“”I don’t want [the club] to be trashy,”” Christian said. “”But then, we also know that each performer brings his own flavor, and we learned from this experience.””

Ferasat shared a similar sentiment.

“”We were a little offended by what he did on stage, we just weren’t expecting anything that kind of explicit,”” she said. “”His performance was a little more than expected.””

As for the Club Ritmo’s future, both Christian and Ferasat are very optimistic. The next show is scheduled for March 2. The off-time in between will allow the club to publicize and better prepare, Christian said.

Christian and Ferasat both praised A.S. Co-Festivals Coordinator Scott Mantell for all the work he has done behind the scenes. Calling his efforts “”amazing,”” Ferasat said Mantell continues to play a pivotal role in the development of Club Ritmo.

Many non-UCSD students were in attendance Friday night for the concert as well.

Mesa College junior Chris Kline has been a fan since the beginning.

“”I’ve been waiting 10 years to see this guy in concert ever since I was a little kid and now I’ll finally get a chance,”” Kline said before the show.

An San Diego State University freshman who gave his name as “”Kipper”” said he enjoyed the night immensely.

“”I originally came out to see the DJs from the DVC spin because those guys have maximum potential,”” Kipper said. “”However, I had to see Vanilla Ice spin that good ol’ ‘Ice Ice Baby’ just for the sentimental factor. It’s a pretty big party … some people may say he kind of strayed from the original message but it’s all good, it’s a lot of fun.””