At Saved by the 90s at the Troc, Philly’s millennials get nostalgic

The Bayside Tigers and DJ Suga Ray host an evening of MTV shirts and other Forever 21 staples: “It’s my decade, it’s my time.”

What are you dressed as? "Psychedelic animals, you know?"

What are you dressed as? "Psychedelic animals, you know?"

Cassie Owens/Billy Penn

The sky was gold. It was rose. The Troc thumped as the cover of Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life” echoed through the space during Saved by the 90s this Saturday. This, Bayside Tigers drummer Nate Ester told Fusion in January, is the song the band always closes their sets on, because “it always kills.”

That moment, and the the decade-themed night overall, looked a movie scene—perhaps because film, music videos and TV were the biggest party references for its millennial audience — and in this sense, the cinematic edge to it seemed enjoyably intentional. Later on, I’d see Cher dancing with friends with a vinyl bag, plaid jacket and red vest. Cher was giving life.

Cassie Owens/Billy Penn
Cassie Owens/Billy Penn
Cassie Owens/Billy Penn

For a cover-band-concert-meets-dance-party like this one, there is some theorizing to do about “nostalgic capital” and the power of memory. But partygoer after partygoer, at varying levels of intoxication, gave a basic explanation for what brought them there: It’s the music we grew up on.

“I still find myself wearing stuff from the 90s, because, you know, it’s my decade, it’s my time,” said Rebecca Cohen, a 28-year-old grad student.

This winning formula has the Bayside Tigers (not just the house band, but the organizers) playing roughly 60 nights a year, according to Fusion. The decade is completely on-trend. Stephanie McCaughey, 30, got her MTV shirt and black choker from Forever 21. “Now, it’s in style again,” she said. She mused to friends that kids might not even know the station she was wearing. Dara Nikoonezhad, 26, totally got was she was saying: “Yeah, it’s all reality shows now.”

Cassie Owens/Billy Penn
Cassie Owens/Billy Penn
Cassie Owens/Billy Penn

The sold-out night was a fun mess, abandoned plastic cups and flannel shirts dominating the space. The Bayside Tigers split time with DJ Suga Ray, but things ended around 1, and the crowd started dwindling before then. When Saved by the 90s returns (it’ll be back at the Troc this July), if you go, you may want to make plans for later too.

Cassie Owens/Billy Penn
Cassie Owens/Billy Penn
Cassie Owens/Billy Penn

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Parties, Trocadero