Review: Boyz II Men

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R&B group Boyz II Men join the Nashville Symphony for an exquisite night of unforgettable songs.

Nashville Symphony’s FirstBank Pops Series presents:
Boyz II Men (March 19 – 21; All ages)
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
1 Symphony Place, Nashville
615-687-6400 • nashvillesymphony.org
Remaining show times: Fri – Sat 8 p.m.
Tickets: $22 – $138

A spectacular musical experience is on the Schermerhorn Symphony Center stage this weekend with the Nashville Symphony backing the rich, lush harmonies of R&B sensations Boyz II Men.

Boyz II Men first hit the music scene in the late 1980s as a quartet (the group is now a trio; past member Michael McCary left in 2003 due to health issues). Boyz II Men skyrocketed to the top of the music charts in the early ’90s with their first number-one hit, “End of the Road.” Since then, the group’s won four Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, nine Soul Train Awards, three Billboard Awards and a MOBO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. With more than 60 million album sales worldwide, Boyz II Men to this day is the best-selling R&B group of all time, and they’re enjoying a residency show through the end of this year at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

Our Grammy Award-winning Nashville Symphony, led by Conductor Vinay Parameswaran, along with guest keyboardist Rex Salas, provides the phenomenal musical backdrop for the Boyz II Men trio — Shawn Stockman, Wayna Morris and Nathan Morris. Known for their emotional ballads, Boyz II Men serves up 15 of them — in fact, the entire two-hour concert comprises masterfully orchestrated ballads; there are no uptempo numbers in the evening’s repertoire. The trio’s vocals blend in perfect harmony, delighting the audience with a string of hits that showcase the power of emotion that’s connected to music. Every number (see the complete set list below) is a crowd-pleasing experience, and the guys invite audience members to enjoy the moment however it chooses, be it singing along or getting up to dance in the aisles (as a few couples did during “4 Seasons of Loneliness”).

While each number comes with its own memorable encounter, stand-out performances include “On Bended Knee,” “Open Arms” and one of Boyz II Men’s biggest hits, “I’ll Make Love to You,” which found a numerous amount of female audiences members rushing to the front of the stage to receive a long-stemmed rose from the guys on stage. The group ends the night with “End of the Road,” providing an unforgettable moment at the end after the music fades away and the threesome finish the song a cappella, letting the audience hear the precision in their exquisite harmonies and vocal styling.

Long-time fans of Boyz II Men will be mesmerized by the presentation of these songs in a wonderful new way with the full orchestra. Concert-goers, including kids, who might not be as familiar with the group will be amazed by the the trio’s impeccable talent and undoubtedly walk away as a new fan.

SET LIST:

“Oh Well”
“On Bended Knee”
“4 Seasons of Loneliness”
“Girl in the Life Magazine”
“Pass You By”
“Water Runs Dry”
“I Will Get There”
— intermission —
“It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”
“Open Arms”
“Easy”
“The Color of Love”
“I’ll Make Love to You”
“A Song for Mama”
“Doin’ Just Fine”
“End of the Road”

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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