2019 Freestyle Festival at the Microsoft Theater

2019 Freestyle Festival

An explosion was held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on April 27. Yes… an explosion of nothing but good ‘ol music that featured artists who rocked the pop and R&B radio scene in the 80s. I am talking about Vanilla Ice, Lisa Lisa, Color Me Badd, Sugar Hill Gang, Taylor Dayne, Ce Ce Peniston, Jody Watley and many more.

Jody Watley, a former member of the group Shalamar, brought the house down with her hits “Looking for a New Love“, “Real Love” and other danceable tunes. If you recall her videos, they were quite fashionable. Growing up in the 80s, I always remember her trademark big hoop earrings. Now let’s go back to her performance at ’80s Freestyle. The audio visual introduction was entertaining. I thought she had the best introduction among all of the artists – she pulsated and just put out a good production where she shared a video montage from the 80s. The choreography was excellent. It just shows she really prepared for the fans.

Jody Watley sings her 80s hits "I'm "Looking for a New Love" at the Freestyle 80s Concert in the Microsoft Theater
Jody Watley sings her 80s hits “I’m Looking for a New Love”.

Let’s hit the beat now with Lisa Lisa. How can we forget the contagious tunes of, “Head to Toe“, “I Wonder If I Take You Home” and “Lost in Emotion” that drove our jelly shoes and Jordache and Sassoon pants on the dance floor. At Freestyle, a bunch of glow sticks waved in the air as the audience danced to these tunes again almost 34 years later. Lisa Velez, also known as Lisa Lisa, still has that voice. It almost feels like you are listening to her old record. She was rockin’ a zipped leather jacket that emphasized her cleavage paired with thigh boots and leather shorts. Her voice is still stellar!

Lisa Lisa belts out her voice during the Freestyle '80s concert at the Microsoft Theater
Lisa Lisa belts out her voice during the Freestyle ’80s concert at the Microsoft Theater

Shannon was back in action. Clad in a canary yellow outfit with an Afro do, and yellow top ….. paired with black short shorts and gloves. She sparked mass singalongs with her 1984 hit song “Let The Music Play“. She also dazzled her fans with “Give Me Tonight”. All I can say is she is still at her best at 61. She definitely gave the audience a nostalgic flavor.

My favorite among all of the artists was Taylor Dayne. How can you forget Taylor Dayne with her first main stream hit “Tell It To My Heart” and yes her trademark over sized crimped hair. At 55, Taylor is svelte (check her outfit), and definitely can belt out her voice. In particular, “I’ll Always Love You” and of course Dayne’s chart-topping hit “Love Will Lead You Back” was accompanied by a chorus of “true to life” vocals. Dayne brought high energy with her dance songs and engaged the audience with her ballad hits.

Taylor Dayne brings high energy with her hit songs
Taylor Dayne brings high energy with her hit songs

Overall, 80s Freestyle was a pack of excellent entertainers all under one roof that took us back to our teen years. It was the ultimate throwback. What a nostalgic and euphoric experience.

15 Years Anniversary 80s Freestyle
15 Years Anniversary 80s Freestyle
Color Me Badd serenades the audience
Color Me Badd serenades the audience
CeCe Peniston performs her signature song Finally
CeCe Peniston performs her signature song Finally
Hip Hop group J.J. Fad entertains the audience with the classic hit "Supersonic".
Hip Hop group J.J. Fad entertains the audience with the classic hit “Supersonic”.
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