I attended the 2001 Juggalo Gathering at the Seagate Center in Toledo, Ohio, and one of the performers on the final day was Vanilla Ice. After the first band of the night, the Psychopathic Rydas, finished their set, I made my way to front and center, ending up about three rows back from the stage, square in the middle of the stage. I'd never seen him live before, and I was curious as to how his sound had changed. He had a live band with him, and a back-up vocalist that I think might have been La the Darkman from the Wu-Tang Clan.

He started off his set by performing his verse from "Boom", a song he did with the Bloodhound Gang. He then followed it up with a song called "Prozac", which is off the album "Hard to Swallow". For someone who's been around as long as he has, he still has a lot of energy.

He had to play it. He just had to. After a DJ solo (his DJ is called DJ Zero) and a short beat box solo by the Iceman himself (he can really beatbox a mic), the DJ played the bassline from the song everybody knows once. Vanilla Ice then led the crowd in an acapella rendition of the song. About halfway through the first verse, the band kicked in with the remake of the song "Too Cold" off the "Hard to Swallow" album, a much harder version of that song.

He also performed a cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever", which I believe is by the Beatles. It actually sounded pretty good. I think this song will be a single when his new double album Bipolar comes out. He immediately followed it up with "Nothing is Real", which is a song on the unreleased album Bipolar.

I was really surprised by the crowd reaction. Everyone was singing along, and really enjoying the show. Usually juggalos have an extreme dislike for the rock bands that usually open up on Psychopathic Records shows. Just two nights before I had seen a band called the Organ Grinders get their speakers destroyed by water bottles thrown by an irritated crowd.

Say what you will of Vanilla Ice, he still knows how to work a crowd.

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