Vanilla Ice at Grover's Bar & Grill in Frisco, 9/12/13: Review and Photos

Categories: Show Reviews

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Ed Steele. Slideshow.

It is not every day that an email lands in my mailbox from my editor with confirmation that I'll be seeing Vanilla Ice at a restaurant/venue in Frisco. The Farmers Branch native's music may not be on top of most people's Spotify playlists these days, but there are clearly more than enough people who still embrace Mr. Van Winkle. He had the packed house singing along to the deep cuts, by which I mean everything except "Ice, Ice Baby."

See also: Slideshow -- Vanilla Ice at Grover's Bar & Grill

The Iceman played a packed show last night at Grover's Grill & Bar, one of the more unique music venues in Dallas-Fort Worth. It's got the look and feel a friendly neighborhood bar and grill, but there's a spacious stage in one corner of the main dining area. The stage is more than just a bit of open space dedicated to bands who are willing to play for free chicken strips and a discounted bar tab. It's got a full lightning set, smoke machines and even room for a good-sized crowd to surround the stage. It's nearly impossible to get a table or move around much when the place is packed like it was on Thursday.

I stumbled into the crowd. White, white, white. No surprise there. A few minutes later, a brainstorming session started among a few of us at the urinals as we tried to remember one of Ice's hits besides "Ice, Ice Baby." Someone started chanting "Go ninja, go ninja, go," the refrain from the "Ninja Rap" that Ice performed for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze,.

The opening act, a Beastie Boys tribute group called Rhymin' N Stealin', had a very solid set. They sound remarkably similar to the real thing, which, I may or may not know from experience alone in my car, is harder to do than it looks.

Still, if I am Vanilla Ice, maybe I would not have a cover band of a much more beloved hip-hop group open for my actual set. Maybe Riff Raff's available for next time.

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Ed Steele
Rhymin N Stealin

So: Rhymin' N Stealin' pulled off an awesome, high-energy set that got the room moving before the main talent hit the stage. They clearly can carry a room all by themselves.

It took a little more than an hour for the main act to take the stage. Most of his equipment was hidden under black tarps. There was a looming, inflatable skull arch that looked like it was taken from someone's yard at Halloween time. Still, the room was patient, and everyone was in good spirits when the show finally started. It quickly grew to a frenzy as the man himself took to the stage, having traded his signature hairstyle for a ball cap and his American flag jacket with "Word to Your Mother" bedazzled into the back for a simple T-shirt. Did you know he has six studio albums, a live record and two greatest-hits compilations? He does. The newest album came out in 2011. So there was plenty of material to draw from, both familiar and not.

Of course, he wasted no time working the phrase "Ice, Ice Baby" into his opening song for the crowd to chant. I immediately switched from Coke to beer.

Give the man credit for knowing his demographic -- one of those newer ones is "Born on Halloween," a little ditty he recorded with Insane Clown Posse. His performance of it last night came complete with an evil clown dousing the crowd in bottled water.

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Ed Steele

Of course, Ice still plays his famous songs, like the aforementioned "Ice, Ice Baby," which was greeted by many a cell phone, recording the moment for social media posterity. After pointing out that his drummer had "the world's only Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drum set," Ice even got the crowd to recite a few bars of "Ninja Rap."

"I can't believe y'all remember that shit," he said. Neither can I, Ice.

After a few more of his less famous hits and a crowd-pleasing rendition of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry," the show came to an end in the span of an hour, leaving the room in good spirits. It's not my kind of music, even when I was at an age when I would pretend to listen to just about anything if it meant a sliver of a chance at friendship or access to someone's NES. But the crowd was still buzzing after he left the stage, and even if the name Vanilla Ice has become something of a pop culture punch line, he still has fans who are willing to drive at least as far as Frisco to see him.

As long as you've got someone enjoying your work, it's still worth getting up and fighting through the grind of the day to put something out for them. If Vanilla Ice can do it, surely the rest of us can.

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Ed Steele

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34 comments
Muzicgirl
Muzicgirl

This was a FANTASTIC show all the way around! We had a great time and Ice Ice Baby himself did his thing and it was REALLY good I must say! LOVED the intimate and fun atmosphere of Grover's and the sound was by far better than any other venue of its size. The VIP package for $300 included a table for 6 with admission to the show, dinner, a VIP laminate, a drum head for which to get Vanilla Ice's autograph and a meet and greet. Was worth every penny! It's really a greater deal than I've gotten at any if the concert venues in Dallas. Can't wait to go back in a couple weeks for the Reverend Horton Heat show!!!!

maddskillz
maddskillz

Wow I have never seen this much hostility from deep ellum dwellers... i love my deep ellum but some times you got to spread your wings and get out of downtown.  grovers is more of a mature experience.  if you want to enjoy the national acts that  play hob and billy bobs this is a small intimate setting. thats what this place is for. 


darrylrs
darrylrs

I wonder if paper lace or the starland vocal band will do shows in frisco soon.

darrylrs
darrylrs

I wonder if paper lace or the star land vocal band do big shows in fresco as well.

El De
El De

lol iceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Doug Taylor
Doug Taylor

Frisco is EXACTLY where this belongs.

Zona Granado
Zona Granado

who cares,he sucks anyway.hang it up already vanilla

Ausa Salem Faria
Ausa Salem Faria

OMG! Great article -- totally felt the same way! What a performance!!! Thanks to Vanilla Ice for helping me relive my teen years!

familyman403
familyman403

It was an amazing show and I will definitely see him again next month!!!!!  All the haters can go ahead and hate.  He is about as friendly as you can get!  I would love to hang out with him on a personal level!!!

Shea Aiken
Shea Aiken

That must have been a short show since he had a one hit wonder!

Christina Navarro
Christina Navarro

He performed at a club in Dallas a year or so ago and it was awesome. He's actually a really stand up guy and friendly. I grew up listening to him, so maybe I'm bias. :)

Joe Parr II
Joe Parr II

Andrina Hayden. This would have been a sight to behold.

Quinn Bogar
Quinn Bogar

He must of gotten bored with the home remodeling business. You do your thing, Ice!

Jesse Rodolfo
Jesse Rodolfo

He's the halftime performer at Sunday's Houston Texans game. Smh

dustinmota
dustinmota

Ice ice baby too cold, too cold!!!!!!!!!!!

Alejandro Monjaras
Alejandro Monjaras

Is he still doing the whole rap metal thing? That's what he was doing the last time I saw him at deep ellum live back in 2000.

Maddshillz
Maddshillz

@Muzicgirl Yeah, Frisco is totally the next Deep Ellum.  I'm quite sure there's no possible way you're a shill for Grover's, especially when your only like comes from another shil... I mean poster.

maddskillz
maddskillz

@Maddshillz @Muzicgirl Wow Hate Much? i am the person who brought Rob in, so what? get a set of balls and post as yourself. 

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