Power Jam '97 (July 16)

Reviewed by: Benedict!


So here I am with a friend of mine at the Molson Ampitheatre. Ontario Place, Toronto. Not quite knowing what to expect. Power 88.5 is a fairly new radio station just outside Toronto. The ironic thing is I cannot pick up this radio station and I live in Toronto! This was their first show and it was held in conjunction with Dance across America (hence top US dance acts like Jocelyn Enriquez, Amber, Robin S, La Bouche being there) It was an 8 hour extravaganza (well for me it was about 7 1/2 hours) since we got there at 3:30. I had to take time off work to go! And I realize I shouldn't have bothered and got there until around when 6 or 6:30pm when things started to pickup. To start off, I'd say there was only about 500, there when we got there and I'd say there was about 2000 when the decent acts showed up.

What happened?

Like I said, the crowd was dead for about the first 3 hours. First band that I saw was the YAKOO BOYZ who performed "Up yee kilt" Nothing spectular there. Then from there a bunch of virtual no names, well to me, anyways! I think next up was LOST who if I am not mistaken did a version of "un-break my heart" but they didn't perform that. Only interesting part was that one of the dancers jumped down from the stage to the floor, it's at least a 7ft drop, you know then he climbed the railings of the first row, thought he was going to do one of those japanese wrestling moves and do unreputable damage but alas nope, he ain't that suicidal. Anyhow CLEOPATRA were next and did a couple of tracks, one of them I recognise from one of the Rhythm Formula series, "Keep on spinning". Also playing around then CYBERSQUAD, KIT KATT, UNIQUE and GEORGE ST K who sounded a lot like Carlos Morgan.

Things slowly started to pick up, when KAREN CORBIN sung "high on love" and JACYNTHE sung "try my love" in a remixed fashion as well as doing a cover of an old song which i can't remember off hand. oh yeah someone did a version of "Because I loved you", it might have been "Lost" but I was getting refreshments at the time. DJ'S RULE did "Feel love". NATILE PAGE (ex-CAPITOL SOUND) did "desire", "higher love" and a couple of other old Capitol Sound songs. She commented on the lack response from the crowd and got a couple of boos for that. She did do a couple of acapella bits though. SOTTO VOCE did "Higher and higher" and LUCA who I thought was a her on the programme i had, was in fact a he.

Finally things start to heat up with NADIA who performed her current hit "I feel free" and "The beatman" amongst others. ROXXY was next and got a pretty decent reaction. She started with "I'll never stop" and went through the current single "Love set us free" and ended with "Live my life". PAUL LONDON was next and sung a couple of songs including a cover of Glen Mediros' "Nothing's gonna change my love for you" (yuk, well actually it isn't as sappy as the original) Then of course he finished up with "Ti amo" which really got the crowd going! (To my disappointment, he didn't perform "Don't walk away")

At last the big names are here and from here ALL the dancers are awesome!!! TEMPERANCE have a good set of dancers and they did their stuff on "lost in love", "universal dream", "let me take you away" and "Forever Young"!!! EMJAY is the only big act who didn't have any dancers, like she needs them ;) if you know what i mean! She performed "In your arms", "Flying to the moon" (acapella to start with) and some brand new material in "It doesn't matter anymore". FRUIT DE LA PASSION did a couple of songs and finished with the "Macarena" I mean "Tic tic tac". ELISSA who I am not who she is, did a couple of freestyle songs got a good reaction too. ANGELINA did a two big hits "Release me" and "I don't need your love" however she didn't do "Without you" and did another cover version to finish. CRUSH actually was the only downer, they should never have done "rock n roll" which is not a dance single. They next did a "Jellyhead"-estque single before actually doing "Jellyhead" to an okay crowd reaction. The black hair-ed girl looks totally different from the jellyhead video! The blonde had a simliar shirt to what Madonna was wearing in "Vogue", the revealing one;)

Have to give the award for the best dancers to AMBER. Amber had a female rapper and two male dancers who were just flirting with crowd! One of them jumped down and got hugged/mauled by the women. By the way, I'd say there were more girls in attendance than guys, which surprised me a little. In the meantime, Amber performed "Colour of love", her next single which I think she said was "One more night" and of course "This is your night" Amber looked a lot like Bjork with her hair done up with lots of little ponytails. JOCELYN ENRIQUEZ was just mesmirizing. She has to get the award for most interesting outfit, she took of her cloak to reveal a black shirt with a fluorscent yellow/green fluffy feathers on the chest! She did "A little bit of ecstacy" to start off with and ended with "Do you miss me?" with a slow song thrown in there too.

By this time I was a bit tired, so I went back to a seat and saw ANGELINA with her dancers, signing a couple of autographs. Didn't ask for hers, had nowhere to sign! But for the most part and probably to her relief she wasn't hasseled by the autograph hounds;)

ROBIN S was next and she did her current single "It must be love" and of course her classic "Show me love". Then there was a bit of frustrating wait for the QUAD CITY DJS. They did some of thd old stuff, "Whoomp there it is" and "Tootsie Roll" before ending with "C'mon ride the train". Another long break before the stage was set for the headliner, LA BOUCHE, they started with a "Sweet Dreams" medley which included the Eurhythmics lyrics of "Sweet dreams" Then they did a cover of "Forget-me-nots", the song that George Michael put into "Fast Love" and WIll Smith sampled into "MIB". Next was "Shewbebebe" or whatever it's called... Then "Falling in love", both the slow and fast versions and I think they ended with "Be my lover" but I had to leave before then, friend of mine was tired and cold. It did get nippy towards the end of the show.

Final Comments

All in all, a pretty good show, had a good time although it was too long and in fact I should have probably come for the last 5 hours or so ONLY, as the first three hours was almost a washout. As a venue, the Ampitheatre is a little too big. The place looked half packed. But that could be misleading as most people were on the floor rather than in the seats which should be the case for a dance show! And oh yes, why did they have it on a weekday, some of us have to work you know!