The Taste of Chicago, the city’s annual premier food event, provides many with an opportunity to sample eclectic food from the city’s culturally-diverse restaurants, while for others it is a chance to visit the Petrillo Music Shell, which featured free daily concerts during the festival’s run. For its opening day, the audience got to see a nostalgic line up of some of the top names in R&B and hip-hop from the early 90s, including Salt-n-Pepa, Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick, and Bell Biv DeVoe.
The show was opened up by Salt-n-Pepa, who are gearing up to release a new album sometime this year. While the trio’s DJ Spinderella was absent from the performance, Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandy “Pepa” Denton managed to bring out the energy in full-force from a crowd that had assuredly been exhausted from the heat. Not skipping over any notables from their catalog, the vivacious pair performed everything from “Shake Your Thang”, “Shoop”, and of course “Push It”.
Doug E. Fresh, one of hip-hop’s pioneers, stepped out next and launched into a few songs before asking Slick Rick to join him on stage. The duo then launched into two defining songs in hip-hop history; “The Show” and “La Di Da Di”. Their set together consisted of only two songs, however it concluded with Doug’s beat-boxing skills in full effect.
To top off the night, Bell Biv DeVoe took over the stage with their superbly coordinated dance moves combined with strikingly stylish matching outfits. Ricky, Michael and Ronnie not only pleased the crowd by playing expected hits such as “B.B.D.” and “Poison”, but also a few New Edition songs, the group from which the trio had its start.