A concert featuring some of the 1990’s biggest music acts – including the multi-platinum-selling Salt-n-Pepa, chart-topping Vannila Ice and hit-maker Coolio – is coming to Sands Bethlehem Event Center, it was just announced.
Also coming is an iconic 1980’s band whose three platinum albums and six Top 10 songs in just three years helped define pop music in the decade.
And the touring show of a longtime popular TV magic series will return to the event center, it was announced.
The “I Love The 90’s Tour” with Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, Vanilla Ice and Coolio, as well as All 4 One, Rob Base and Young MC, will perform at the event center at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2.
Culture Club, the British band that topped the charts in 1983 with its song “Karma Chameleon” and gender-bending front man Boy George, will return to the event center for a matinee show at 3 p.m. Dec. 3.
And Masters of Illusion Live, with performers from the “Masters of Illusion” hit CW TV series and specials, will be presented at 8 p.m. Feb. 8.
Tickets, at $49.50 for general admission standing for the “I Love The 90’s Tour”; $59.50-$89.50 for Culture Club; and $29.50-$49.50 for Masters of Illusion Live, go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 22 at www.sandseventcenter.com, 800-745-3000 or the event Center box office.
The “I Love the 90’s Tour” was 2016’s most successful concert touring package, with shows in 110 cities and more than 600,000 tickets sold with a $36 million gross box office revenue.
Salt-n-Pepa is perhaps the biggest female rap group ever. It also was among the first all-female rap groups, starting in 1985, and won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
It sold 10 million copies of its five studio albums and six compilations, including more than 5 million alone for its 1993 album “Very Necessary” — the most successful rap album by a female act ever, with the gold and platinum hits “Whatta Man (with En Vogue)” and “Shoop,” both of which hit the Top 5 on Billboard’s overall chart.
The duo (with DJ Spinderella) hit platinum with its 1986 debut album “Hot Cool & Vicious,” which had the platinum Top 20 hit “Push It.” Its next two discs, 1988’s “A Salt with a Deadly Pepa” and 1990’s “Black’s Magic,” went gold and platinum, respectively.
The former had the Top 5 R&B hit “Shake Your Thang” and the latter the platinum “Expression” and 1991’s gold “Let’s Talk About Sex.”
Salt-n-Pepa was nominated for four Grammy Awards: Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Push It” in 1989, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Let’s Talk About Sex” in 1992, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for “Whatta Man” in 1995, and the win for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “None of Your Business” that same year.
After “Very Necessary,” the group put out just one more album, 1997’s gold “Brand New,” and disbanded 2002-07.
Vanilla Ice had his biggest success with his debut album, 1990’s “To The Extreme,” which topped the charts, sold seven times platinum and had the platinum No. 1 hit “Ice, Ice Baby.”
He also had a Top 5 hit with “Play That Funky Music” and has released five albums since, with his latest being 2011’s “W.T.F. (Wisdom, Tenacity and Focus).”
Culture Club’s multi-racial lineup, musical style mix and brightly colored clothing styles helped set trends that lasted throughout the 1980s. Its heavy reliance on the visual component of the band also made it a favorite of the emerging music video and MTV.
It first hit the charts in 1982 with the chart-topping song “”Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” from its debut album “Kissing to Be Clever.” The album went platinum and also produced the Top 10 hits “Time (Clock of the Heart)” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.”
It sophomore album, 1983’s “Colour by Numbers,” was its most successful, selling four-times platinum, hitting No. 2 on the charts and producing the No. 1 gold hit “Karma Chameleon,” as well as the Top 10 songs “Church of the Poison Mind” and “Miss Me Blind.”
The group won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1984.
Its third album, 1984’s “Waking Up with the House on Fire,” also went platinum, with the Top 20 hit “The War Song.” That was its last Top 30 album and song, though it did release another disc, 1986’s “From Luxury to Heartache,” before breaking up in 1986, and a 1999 reunion album, “Don’t Mind If I Do.”
The group was released “Tribes,” its first album in 18 years, in 2016, but still hasn’t released it. The group has performed a song from it, “More Than Silence,” but it also remains unreleased.
Culture Club played Bethlehem’s Musikfest in 2015, drawing 2,823 people, and drew about 2,500 at the event center with Cyndi Lauper in May 2016.
Masters of Illusion Live performers for the show have not been announced.
“Masters of Illusion” has been a hit since premiering on PAX TV from 2000. It was revived on MyNetworkTV in 2009, then moved to The CW in 2014, with new episodes featuring new performers and hosted by Dean Cain.
The show in June premiered its fourth season on The CW, at 8 p.m. Fridays.
The show coming to the event center has featured levitating women, appearances and vanishings, escapes, comedy magic, sleight of hand and more. Its website calls it the largest magical touring show in the world.
Masters of Illusion Live also performed at the event center in February and in February of 2016.