NKOTB, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men at Toyota Center, 6/27/13
Photos By Francisco Montes.
New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men
June 27th, 2013
So I can now cross "touch a boy band member" off of my bucket list, thanks to last night's ridiculously girly boy band mash-up known as The Package Tour -- a triple threat concert consisting of '90s the boy bands Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees, and New Kids on the Block -- at the Toyota Center. My life is indeed now more complete.
I wasn't fortunate enough to take part in any boy band concerts during their heyday back in the '80s or '90s -- the Rio Grande Valley isn't exactly the pinnacle of live music venues -- but if I had to imagine what those concerts looked like back in the day, I'd say last night's throwback concert did those days justice.
The attendees were as one would expect at a concert featuring the some of the biggest names in boy band history -- there was enough teased hair, spandex, and neon colors to last a lifetime -- and the number of homemade NKOTB shirts on adult women was astounding. It was as though the '90s stood still in attire, but we all still aged a good number of years. I suppose one never outgrows those Tiger Beat days, really.
I wasn't just surprised at the cheesy attire we all threw on to celebrate the resurrection of boy band glory; I was also friggin' shocked when the concert -- slated to start at 7:30 p.m. -- started at, well, 7:30 p.m. I wasn't even aware that happened anymore, and apparently neither was anyone else in the venue, because the seats were half empty when Boyz II Men took the stage in a dramatic gesture of video introduction, flashing lights, and, of course, an acapella round from those Boyz.
The Boyz, for their part of this Package Tour business, started off with their old hit, "Bended Knee," during which I saw at least three ladies crying. No. Lie. Three of them. It was apparent that they still have those chops after all these years, and the women still love 'em. Maybe good ol' Putin and his sexed out concert plan knew something I didn't. Go figure.
It's hard for me to believe that after so many years together, these guys still sound freakin' fantastic, but they do. Their set list was super short -- six songs -- and it's a shame, because in reality, they were the most talented singers of the pack, by far.
They launched into five more of their biggest hits with the expected fanfare -- there was plenty of ballad-crooning, fan greeting, and dancing to appease the masses -- but it was during "I'll Make Love to You" that I realized how much I'd been missing during the '90s by avoiding these concerts like the plague. As they belted out that love ballad and the ladies swooned, rose petals fell from the ceiling and the Boyz threw long stemmed roses, and it was hilariously entertaining. Total cheese, but awesome nonetheless.