The Minnesota State Fair offers a full bouquet of scents, some mouth-watering, others not so much.
Sunday night, the Grandstand smelled like one thing and that’s marijuana. A smoking crowd of 8,766 showed up for a dual-headliner show featuring ’90s R&B stars Shaggy and TLC. For those keeping track, that number falls short of the 10,876 who caught Miranda Lambert on opening night.
A surprising number of those fans were on hand at 7 p.m. — either inside or in line outside — for the openers, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. “Tha Crossroads” hitmakers operated largely in party mode and had fans dancing in the aisles.
Jamaican reggae singer Shaggy followed at 8 with an 80-minute set that included his hits “Strength of a Woman,” “Oh Carolina,” “Angel” and “Boombastic.”
But Shaggy spent nearly as much time chatting up the crowd like a hybrid hype man and carnival barker. Not once but twice he admonished fans for acting too chill and whipped out his phone and threatened to film them: “I’m going to put your asses on YouTube.”
Elsewhere, he asked the crowd about their substance use tonight and addressed the weed-scented elephant in the room: “If you had a lot to smoke, you’re in the right place!” Then he did a fiery take on Peter Tosh’s “Buk-In-Hamm Palace.”
It’s easy to forget just how huge TLC was in the ’90s, but from 1991’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” to 1999’s “Unpretty,” they were a constant presence on pop radio and MTV (back when it actually played music videos). And, at least in the early days, there was such an obvious chemistry between vocalists Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, despite the fact they were brought together by a producer hoping to create a girl group version of Bell Biv DeVoe.
The women were recording what would become their fourth album in 2002 when Lopes died in a car accident that April. Watkins and Thomas completed “3D” with several producers and vowed to retire after its release and promotion rather than attempt to replace Lopes.
After playing a series of festivals and award shows, the pair returned to full-time touring in 2014, adding recordings of Lopes to the live musical mix. Sunday’s show featured a number of “CrazySexyCool” album cuts — next month the duo is kicking off a tour to celebrate the album’s (belated) 25th anniversary — alongside their still-potent singles like “No Scrubs,” “Creep” and “Waterfalls.”