Boyz II Men 4/8/15 – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA
Review and pictures from thenaturalstoner
The outskirts of Spokane were host to a real treat tonight, as Boyz II Men threw a big time party at the local casino! The only other time I have seen the guys from Philly, even if it is only three of them these days, was in May of 2011 and you may happen to remember my review. If not, here is a quick summary: My girlfriend loves them, the show was a lot better than expected, and I said I would get us tickets early the next time they came around to avoid getting shut out (really!). Well… you could say I was DETERMINED about getting tickets quickly because I got up for a 6am pre-sale and popped front row, dead center tickets to the show! So how were the Boyz from the best spot in the house? Awesome, of course!
Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris came out to a boisterous sold out crowd following a ‘greatest hits’ type video montage that was shown on the big screens, similar to the start of their 2011 set. But the setlist was mixed up from last time, which was what I was hoping for, and it just felt like the guys were in a better mood than four years ago. Starting with a song I didn’t recognize was fine, most everyone else in the crowd knew it, but the set really got going when “On Bended Knee” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” opened things up. The latter being the first acapella jam of the night, and also their one big hit not played at the last show I had seen. It was very cool to get that one ‘off the list’, and acapella taboot.
The over 90 minute set was filled with hits spanning the bands 23 year career, plus several covers including a Motown > rock and roll medley that included everything from Marvin Gaye to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, The Four Tops, “American Woman” (Lenny Kravitz style), and “Come Together” by the Beatles. Shawn even picked up a guitar and Nathan a bass for the segment. That was something that was pretty cool and unexpected. Shawn noted that they had just recently decided try out the instruments and learn how to play, and it actually ended up sounding alright. The “Teen Spirit” was particularly surprising and got me excited. Other hits like “Water Runs Dry”, “End of the Road”, “Uhh Ahh”, and the Lonestar cover “Amazed” were all crowd pleasers.
While the other Men left the stage, Wanya slowed things down to tell a story about “Amazed”. Apparently Boyz II Men were offered the song but turned it down, even though they thought it had a chance to be a big hit, as they had other things in the works. Lonestar then got the song, blew it up, and made a bunch of money off it, much to their dismay. The set was filled with little stories like this, and continued on until the classic “Motownphilly” closed out the night to a huge round of applause and adoration from the Spokane crowd.
Being in the front row of a show can actually make a person feel a little self conscious, but it’s totally worth it when Nathan Morris gives you some knuckles and your girlfriend gets a rose handed to her! Plus both of us were able to shake all three of the Mens hands, which was pretty neat. Being so close to the stage made this show special, and both my girlfriend and I had a really good time. Boyz II Men seem to be able to bring it pretty good each time I see them, and I look forward to catching them again the next time they circle through eastern Washington.