If you stumbled into the upstairs of Johnny Brenda’s last Saturday, you might have thought you entered a time machine to the mid-90s. No, you didn’t drive into ‘94 with John Claude Van Damme in Timecop, you just went to the recent installment of “The Year” party.
It’s The Year 1994 at Northern Liberties bar Johnny Brenda’s featured a five hour set of Hip Hop, Rock and R&B classics spun by DJs Emynd and Bo Bliz who were backed by screen projections of images reflecting that year.
With proper ID and the $7 cover, partygoers were able to reflect on music people listened to on portable CD players rather than iPods.
According to Temple alumnus and the party’s promoter Justin Weleski, the year 1994 was the year that made Emynd, Bo Bliz and himself come up with the initial idea for the specific year-themed party and also birthed parties based on 1991, 1998, 2003 and 1988, to name a few.
The night featured several selections of memorable hits in rap from several newcomers who released classic music fifteen years ago such as Nas, Notorious B.I.G. and Atlanta rap duo Outkast. Young R&B acts such as Mary J. Blige, Usher and Aalyiah had the crowd excited and singing along. Alt rockers, such as Green Day and Radiohead were also represented in the evening’s playlist.
Equally as exciting as the music from the evening were the visuals provided by Weleski, who took over two hours putting together the on screen images. It took most people a few seconds to soak in memories of a giant picture of now California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, pregnant in the movie Junior. Other images recalled films like Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction, which helped save what would have otherwise been a less than stellar year at the box office.
As people danced and drank the selection of local brewed beer for which Johnny B’s is famous, pictures flickered of magazine covers eulogizing Kurt Cobain and comedic actor John Candy, not to mention some of the infamous events such as OJ Simpson’s white bronco chase and Nancy Kerrigan’s Olympic attack.
As was evidenced by the many memories floating around the room, it was certainly a night to remember.
Jermar Perry can be reached at email@example.com.