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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Time to love the ‘90s at Northern Quest

It’s not surprising that Americans look back fondly at the ‘90s. The Soviet Union collapsed just as an array of bands from Seattle were part of a movement which changed the course of pop music and pop culture. The internet emerged, cellphones became more accessible and Amazon and Google got their starts.

It was an era of good times, so it’s no wonder the tour featuring Vanilla Ice, Color Me Badd, Montell Jordan, Mark McGrath, All-4-One, Coolio and Rob Base, which stops Wednesday at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, is dubbed the “I Love the ’90s” tour.

“The ’90s were a great time to be alive,” Color Me Badd vocalist Mark Calderon said while calling from Aurora, Illinois. “It was a great time to be making music.”

Part of the reason the ’90s was an amazing time for recording artists was due to the support musicians received from an industry and fans actually bought music.

“There was development,” Calderon said. “Labels actually worked to break bands and artist’s benefited from the chances they had.” Color Me Badd, an R&B act who hit the charts with such ballads as “I Adore Mi Amor” and “All 4 Love,” took advantage of some cool opportunities. The group was tabbed to appear as themselves on an episode of the popular drama “Beverly Hills 90210 where they performed “I Adore Mi Amor.”

“We weren’t actors but they made the show around us,” Calderon said. “That show was the most watched ‘90210’ to that point. It was amazing and we got to meet Luke Perry on the set and he was the nicest guy.”

Color Me Badd scored more than a photo op with the late Perry. “We literally sold more than a million CDs the next day after being on ‘90210,’ ” Calderon said. “That blew us away.” Color Me Badd isn’t selling millions anymore. No one is, really except for huge acts like Adele, but the act, which formed in Oklahoma City in 1985, is on the “I Love the ’90s” tour.

“There is no place I would rather be,” Calderon said. “Everyone on this tour is in their groove. We’ve all gotten a little older but we all love what we do. We’re like a family. What’s really cool is that I knew all of these recording artists back in the day but couldn’t see them perform until now. I’m close with Vanilla Ice, Mark McGrath, Coolio, Rob Base, All-4-One and Montell Jordan. We’ve been all doing this on the ‘I Love the ’90s’ tour since 2016.”

That’s when the aforementioned Jordan unretired from music. The R&B star, who created the party anthem “This Is How We Do It,” reflects on the ’90s. “These are my bros on this tour,” Jordan said while calling from Atlanta. “I can’t believe how much fun we’re having. We’re all from the ‘90s, which was a great decade. There was so much energy and so many great songs from that period.”

The eloquent Jordan enjoyed success after “This Is How We Do It,” which was number 1 on the Billboard charts for seven weeks, cooled. “Somethin’ 4 da Honeyz,” “Let’s Ride,” and “Get It On Tonite” each hit the Billboard Top 40. However, Jordan was called to the ministry in 2011.

“I received the calling, which led to my retirement, which really became a hiatus,” Jordan said. “I was called to serve God. I’m a guy who loves God. I realized that I have a ministry that doesn’t have to take place in church. I am the church and I’m in a good space. I’m fortunate to have one of the top party records of the last century. It’s so cool to hear people singing the words to my songs.”

Calderon feels the same way. “I look out at the audience and it blows me away when fans sing along but when I see these guys sing their songs I can’t help but sing along as well. It’s a ‘90s thing. It’s about the songs. It’s why we love it.”