Print Edition: September 3, 2014
As soon as I saw that Boyz II Men would be performing at the PNE, I jumped at the chance to buy tickets. Sure, it was a free concert with the price of admission, but Boyz II Men was a huge part of my childhood and adolescence, so I was more than willing to pay the $25 to guarantee a seat and a shorter line-up.
Because we knew we had reserved seats, we were able to spend the day at the PNE enjoying the exhibits and the food (oh, the food!), before strolling to the amphitheatre at about 7:45 p.m. No line-up, no trying to find two seats together, just the hunt of finding our seat numbers. Once we found our seats, we squished in (the seats were folded chairs zap-strapped to one another to create rows) and watched the big screens as they played Boyz II Men trivia questions for the eager crowd. As soon as 8:00 p.m. hit, music started and a video featuring past concert crowds singing along to “The End of the Road” was played. The crowd at the PNE definitely tried to out-sing the video — I know I sure did!
When Nathan, Wanya, and Shawn — the three members of Boyz II Men — came onstage, the crowd went crazy! People of all ages and ethnicities were there to enjoy the concert — I love how music doesn’t discriminate. The group sang a collection of their most popular hits, including “On Bended Knee,” “Four Seasons of Loneliness,” and the classic “I’ll Make Love to You,” where they handed long-stemmed red roses to some lucky ladies in the audience.
They also sang “Amazed,” which Lonestar recorded and won a Grammy for. Boyz II Men had been offered the song first, but didn’t think it was good enough to record. They were wrong — their words, not mine!
To finish off the concert, the group told everyone to get out of their seats so we could dance and sing along to “Motownphilly.” I have to say, the boys still have the moves as they danced their way back and forth across the stage in perfect unison.
I expected this concert to be potentially disappointing, mostly because it was a free concert at the fair, but it was hands-down the best one I have ever been to. The group’s energy was off-the-charts and you just knew they were so thankful for their fans. Even when they had to take time to stall because “this isn’t 22 years ago,” they chatted up the crowd and talked about their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and also took the opportunity to poke fun at all the “Boyz II Men babies in the crowd.”
I had the chance to fulfill a childhood dream by seeing Boyz II Men in concert, and I’m happy to say it was everything I hoped for and so much more!