Concert takes crowd back to Hammer Time

MC Hammer leaves the stage and performs in the crowd during his Hammer’s House Party concert, which was held at DTE Energy Music Theatre on July 26. Photo by Matt Mackinder

Clarkston News Staff Writer

The calendar might read 2019, but on July 26, it felt like the late 1980s and early 1990s again.
Hammer’s House Party – a conglomeration of old school rappers Biz Markie, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Coolio and MC Hammer – took the stage that night at DTE Energy Music Theatre, and for the most part, it did not disappoint, though all but Hammer haven’t aged well. Then again, all of the rappers are north of 50 these days.
All the performers brought out their hits of yesteryear in front of a pavilion that looked to be 80 percent full and a packed lawn.
Biz Markie had the crowd going and singing along with his classic “Just A Friend,” while Sir Mix-A-Lot had the audience dusting off old lyrics from the back of their minds with “My Hooptie,” “Posse On Broadway” and one that everyone remembers, “Baby Got Back.” Coolio kept the momentum going with “Gangstas Paradise,” “Fantastic Voyage” and “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New),” among others.
Former professional boxing great Thomas Hearns was also at the concert.
Once MC Hammer (without his signature parachute pants) took the stage around 9:30 p.m., the crowd was to see one of the all-time greats. And honestly, his performance was a bit of a letdown. A bit. Not totally, but read on. It didn’t even last an hour.
Yes, he sang his fan favorites like “U Can’t Touch This,” “2 Legit 2 Quit,” “Turn This Mutha Out,” “Pray,” “Have You Seen Her” and “Let’s Get It Started,” but the flow of his set was lacking. He’d sing and dance for one song and there would be a lull. This happened several times. Then at the end, after a time performing in the crowd, it looked like he let the first couple rows of the pavilion join him on stage, and we were treated to a pseudo dance party for 15 minutes or so. This was when many people made their way to the exits.
Admittedly, not bad, but we used to have dance parties inside our house with the kids when they were younger that had more enthusiasm.
In looking around at the concert, I saw several folks wearing throwback brands – one woman had on a L.A. Gear fanny pack – and a couple guys wearing Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” T-shirts. It took me back to junior high, for sure.
So overall, I give this concert a solid 8.5. It was a great date night with my wife, Stephanie, and we still remembered all the words to these songs. The crowd was very tame, very low key, and it was a very enjoyable night out for a couple going on 15 years of marriage.

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