'80s Pop Star Tiffany at Vista Ridge Mall in Suburban Dallas: Review
Here's a question no one will probably ever ask you again: how early do you need to get to the mall in order to see a one-hit wonder from 27 years ago sing in the food court? It's currently 2:45, so I hope the answer is "45 minutes." Tiffany, if you're either an infant and or have never gotten your hair cut at a Great Clips, is famous primarily for three things: her 1987 cover of Tommy James and The Shondell's "I Think We're Alone Now," a 2002 nude spread in Playboy, and a documentary about a pair of strangely endearing stalkers.
Though her popularity faded faster than a pair of acid washed Girbaus, Tiffany's sort of kept at it on an E-list celebrity level by appearances in reality TV shows. I've never seen any of them, but it occurs to me that among the 200 or so people crowding the lower-level plaza in the heart of the Vista Ridge Mall, I'm probably in the minority.
Despite the proclamation of a 3:30 start time (Tiffany is set to begin "promptly" according to a serious, crimson sign immediately beyond Vista Ridge's entrance), Tiffany is late. I wonder if it's nerves, or if she's waiting until there's a huge crowd -- because there actually is one. And it's not just soccer moms, though admittedly that's like saying a sleeve of Sonic fries is diverse because a tater tot and part of an onion ring found their way into the bag. Still, amid the housewives excitedly chattering about how Tiffany was their first concert, there are a few couples in their 60s, kids of all ages, gays and lesbians, and of course, Weird 40-Something Dudes Who Like Tiffany.
One of these guys is right up front. He's got on a green hoody and sports a mustache and Dorothy Hamill haircut shot with gray hairs. He looks like the kind of guy you'd expect to have informed opinions on local cover bands -- except that he's holding a vinyl copy of Tiffany's eponymous second album. I wouldn't say this necessarily make him a weirdo, but then I've resolved to be nicer in 2014. Later, a photographer friend of mine who was bullied by the production director into bagging up his camera told me that the dude actually had two Sharpies with him, so he's definitely a weirdo.
By about 3:15, there's probably almost 200 people radiating outward from the stage, a platform elevated above the mall's tiled fountain, a four-sided ceramic wedge of water and dreams between the escalators and a Clinique kiosk. That's where I've posted up, behind a trio of area moms, Left Mom, Center Mom, and Right Mom, the latter two having set up a base camp made of two strollers overflowing with approximately 70 toddlers. One of these smells bad, and Left Mom departs with him. "Hurry!" says Center Mom. "You've got 11 minutes!" While she's out of pocket with her child's diaper situation, the PD walks through the crowd distributing white, airbrushed Tiffany t-shirts and handmade I Heart Tiffany posters. Center and Right Mom get one of each, shouldering into the shirts right as Left (out) Mom returns.