If the Minnesota State Fair is about making memories, then this year’s musical lineup at the fair is long on reliving memories.
Depending on your frame of reference, there’s something from the ‘60s (Beach Boys, Righteous Brothers), ‘70s (Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire), ‘80s (Culture Club, B-52s) ‘90s (En Vogue, Offspring, 311), ‘00s (Jason Mraz, Sugarland) and ‘10s (Trampled by Turtles, Niall Horan, Old Dominion).
You couldn’t find a better representative for the ‘90s than hitmaking R&B/pop vocal group En Vogue, which closed a two-night stand at the Bandshell on Tuesday night during a light drizzle.
The female trio – original members Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis, both in their mid-50s, plus newcomer Rhona Bennett, who was in “The New Mickey Mouse Club” with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake – was in great shape, good voice and grand spirit.
En Vogue brought the sass (“My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”), the funk (“Whatta Man”) and the message (“Free Your Mind,” the liberating highlight of the 90-minute set). Not to mention the sexiness (the remake of Aretha’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”), harmonizing (“Hold On”) and the fun (Guy’s “Piece of My Love” during which three fans came onstage to sing with varying degrees of success).
The material from this year’s “Electric Café,” En Vogue’s first album in 14 years, was forgettable. And the backup band – drums, bass and keyboards – could have used a guitarist and more instrumental depth.
Still, as a large crowd danced and sang along, En Vogue brought back fond memories – and probably created some new ones, too.