Hammer landed his massive mothership of a tour Friday at the Great Western Forum in the first of two sold-out dates for his “Too Legit to Quit” tour.
Dressed like a Turkish pasha in black velvet pants and matching gold-and-black jacket, Hammer commanded his impressive entourage of dancers and backup singers through a fast-paced and frenetic 90-minute set. There were never fewer than 15 people onstage at any time during Hammer’s performance.
The bulk of Hammer’s stage material during this stop comes from his 10 -million-selling Bust It/Capitol disc “Hammer Please Don’t Hurt ‘Em” and its follow-up, “Too Legit to Quit.”
Set included “This Is the Way We Roll,””Brothers Hang On,””Have You Seen Her” and “Here Comes the Hammer,” among several highlights, but the songs are merely a backdrop to the spectacle.
During “Pray” and “Do Not Pass Me By,” Hammer’s backup singers, dressed in bright yellow choir robes, bopped, weaved and gyrated to the soul beat.
The showstopper of Hammer’s set was his signature anthem “U Can’t Touch This, ” during which Hammer invited one of his male dancers to engage in a steamy pas de deux with a female breakdancer.
Motown’s Boys II Men opened with “End of the Road,” its latest single and a cut from the soundtrack of “Boomerang.”
Also spicing the set from its quadruple-platinum release “Cooleyhighharmony” was “Please Don’t Go,””Uhh Ahh” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” latter delivered with a refreshing mixture of sensuality and innocence, garnering a hearty and enthusiastic response from the female contingent in the audience.
Moving about the stage like Marky Mark wannabes were MCA recording artists Jodeci, whose debut album, “Forever My Lady,” has gone platinum. The best element of Jodeci’s presentation was its humor–bumping and grinding against the stage floor, and two members strutting as their baggy pants slipped below their buttocks, which (thankfully) were clad in red-and-white underwear. Highlighting the set was “Forever My Lady.”
Opening the show was La Face/Arista female trio TLC, who gave the crowd salty hits “Ain’t 2 Proud to Beg” and “Das Da Way We Like ‘Em,” among other cuts from its La Face debut album, “Ooooooohhh … On the TLC Tip.”