For a Good Time, Call
For a Good Time, Call
Oct 25, 2022
Big in the 90s
The 90s are remembered (and missed!) for so many reasons—one of the main ones being that the decade was important in music history. When grunge, hip-hop, alternative rock, and industrial rock emerged, so too did hordes of fans. These genres gave us so much good music that produced a slew of hits still making crowds go wild.
One band having fun with that is New Orleans-based ultimate 90s cover band Big in the 90s. With a repertoire of pop music, grunge, R&B, and alternative, their set list includes everything from Britney to Brit-pop (Hello PULP! Anybody? No?), Gin Blossoms to Ginuwine, and everything else in between.
Big in the 90s is Jonathan Pretus on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Stephen Turner on lead guitar and backing vocals, Joe Bourgeois on bass and backing vocals, and Kyle Melancon on drums and backing vocals. Occasionally you’ll hear Melancon and Turner on lead vocals as well.
Singer Jonathan Pretus and drummer Kyle Melancon both spent time in New Orleans-based bands that actually WERE big in the 90s. Pretus was guitarist for Cowboy Mouth, and Melancon was drummer for Dash Rip Rock and Imagination Movers. Bassist Joe Bourgeois was in MyNameIsJohnMichael, Stephen Turner was guitarist in EPIC, and for years, Turner, Bourgeois, and Pretus were part of the acclaimed rock band The Breton Sound. During that time, the guys kept hearing the same thing from record labels, management, and radio programmers, “You guys are great. You’d have been big in the 90s.”
So, after 8 years in The Breton Sound, around 2019, the guys “put the brakes on” the band but didn’t want to stop playing music. Recognizing that all their musical roads intersected somewhere in the 90s, it seemed like a natural progression to start a band playing the eclectic 90s songs they loved and grew up with.
“We could just play music for fun and not worry about the business aspects that being in an aspiring band brought,” said Pretus. “The name came about because with The Breton Sound, we were told multiple times by a variety of labels, radio programmers, and industry-type folks that they loved what we were doing but [that we’d have been big in the 90s]. So, [the band name] came from that, and we all agreed it was going to be the name almost as quickly as we agreed to start the band.”
The guys also say that each show is like filling a six-disc changer with all your old mix CDs and hitting shuffle. Every song in their set is a classic that’ll provoke you at some point to squeal, “This is my JAM!” to your girlfriends and boyfriends, I guarantee it.
Hell, even the band themselves have songs that make them squeal. They aren’t shy about it. Here’s what the guys had to say when asked about favorites of their own:
JP: My favorites are usually “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger or anything by Oasis.
KM: My favorite 90s song is probably “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals. It’s just a perfectly crafted song. I hope to put that in our set one day. As far as songs we currently play, my favorite has to be “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind. [It’s definitely] one of the most fun songs to play on drums, ever.
ST: My favorites are “Larger Than Life” by Backstreet Boys, “Sweater Song” by Weezer, and “No Scrubs” by TLC.
MAM: So, then, I have to know if there are any songs that take it a step further and make everyone lose their shit?
JP: Our set’s pretty banger-heavy, [so] there’s a lot of shit-losing throughout the night! “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind always crushes.
KM: I never would’ve thought that it would’ve had this kind of staying power when it came out but “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit sends people into an absolute frenzy. It’s bananas. I don’t quite understand it, but I absolutely love it.
ST: For me, “Pony” by Ginuwine. It’s hilarious. Especially when Jonathan uses his prop pony on a stick.
MAM: Shut up! Are you serious? You’re right: That is hilarious. Is there a video of this somewhere out there?
ST: There absolutely is.
Readers, click PLAY below, and enjoy the giggles.
Big in the 90s bring these and many other songs to life, faithfully and with the energy of a top-notch live show from seasoned performers who’ve played stages of all sizes, to crowds of all sizes, all over the country.
While Big in the 90s is based in New Orleans, they aren’t limited to playing in the city. The guys are branching out beyond the NOLA area and often play in Baton Rouge, but they have spent the past year kind of “cautiously cementing” themselves in their home market.
“COVID is so unpredictable, and we never know what’ll happen with cancellation due to it,” said the band. They hope to branch out through the Gulf South region in the New Year.
While there are no albums for Big in the 90s, their collective work as The Breton Sound and Kyle’s work with Dash Rip Rock and Imagination Movers are readily available.
There are, however, plenty of opportunities to catch them live for the rest of this year. Be sure to check their website frequently for additions and updates, too.
Nov. 12 St. Rita Fall Fest, Harahan, LA
Nov. 18 English Turn Country Club, New Orleans, LA
Nov. 25 The Broadside, New Orleans, LA
*featuring strings quarter Electric Yat Quartet
Dec. 17 Zony Mash Beer Project, New Orleans, LA
To squeal about a song to the guys, or for booking and further information, visit them online at www.Biginthe90sBand.com.
*photos courtesy of Big in the 90s