Vengaboys @ Metropolis Fremantle, Perth (20/01/2012)

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Metropolis Fremantle was alive with the sound of the 90s as DJ Dtuck blasted beats, setting the mood of the sold out Vengaboys show: a trip back to the early days of simple pop music that at the time, we all thought were the coolest sounds to ever hit a cassette.

Boys! Boys! Boys! came out eagerly at 9pm with an intense amount of energy and blasting synths to match, along with skin tight metallic lycra body suits and cheesy choreographed dance moves. If you can get passed the childish voices that would have to be completely fabricated to enhance their synth pop style, then there’s potential for enjoyment – if only because it’s danceable. The basic guitar riffs and background drumming had no style, but it seemed they were a perfect opening act for Vengaboys. Keeping with the nineties theme of the night, Boys! Boys! Boys! finished by launching into a melody of tunes the crowd could sing along to, starting with a slow rendition of Barbie Girl and smoothly transitioning into Haddaway’s What is Love, Black Box’s Ride On Time and La Bouche’s Another Night Another Dream.

Back came DJ Dtuck, blasting power hits from The Backstreet Boys, S Club 7, Britney Spears, Westlife and a Grease melody, but after an hour and a half and still no sign of the Dutch quartet, the crowd had slowly died down. The Vengabus must have either broken down or gotten lost, because the delays were numerous. After several announcements that the “Vengaboys would be on really soon”, “they’re in the building” and then “they will be on in 5 minutes”, fifteen minutes later the lights dropped, the crowd started chanting “VENGABOYS! VENGABOYS!” and the highly anticipated blast from the past arrived on stage to squeals from a packed out, sweat-filled venue.

Donned in ridiculous, over-the-top but oh-so-entertaining costumes (an oversized tutu, a tight sailor outfit, a cowboy with a glistening mirror ball covering his crotch and one outer-space style get up) the Vengaboys took the stage and started singing All We Wanna Do is Have Some Fun. The cheesy choreographed dances continued straight through to a crowd favourite We’re Going to Ibiza and side-to-side waving arms flooded the room to Shalala Lala.

Boom Boom Boom Boom!! had the audience screaming out lyrics and jumping about in a frenzy while they performed the familiar dance moves the music video once showed. Slowing down to head bobs for Kiss (When the Sun Don’t Shine) and My Uncle John From Jamaica, both quick finishing songs drew smiles all around.

After announcing “tonight we are going to take you on an intergalactic space adventure,” the group taught the audience dance moves to the lesser known song, Rocket to Uranus. Next was the catchy Sex On the Beach which was a real sexual-induced sight to see. It was an eye-opening experience to realise just how suggestive their songs really are – the lyrics are a whole lot less subtle with the group on-stage, thrusting and humping each other.

The repetitive lyrics of Up and Down filled the room and after half an hour everyone was treated to the song they really came to hear: We Like To Party. The song literally brought the party on entirely as expected; energetic, extroverted and exactly the same as it was over ten years ago.

After playing all their hits, an encore wasn’t exactly expected. But alas, the Vengaboys returned to the stage, filming the crowd and after making everyone hum to the White StripesSeven Nation Army they then began to close the show with Boom Boom Boom Boom!!- yes, for the second time. The only difference this time around was the gold confetti shooting from the stage, reaching the balcony and dance floor below.

Openly admitting (and right on the mark) that they are “sleezy, cheesy, euro pop,” the Vengaboys were so bad that they were so good. The crowd wasn’t there to watch great musicians blow their mind; they were there for the nostalgic hit from childhood and no doubt sheer curiosity of what exactly it would be like when the Vengaboys were back in town.

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