The energy in Englewood, New Jersey’s Bergen Performing Arts Center Saturday night was magnetic. Fans from far and wide grit the chill to embrace the heavenly sounds of legendary multi platinum group Boyz II Men.
Since the early nineties, these vocal harmonic prodigies achieved world-wide success ensuing superstar idols New Edition’s savviness fused with an a capella flare creating a flawless sound of their own that would solidify their trademark in the music industry for years to come.
Capturing the eye of NE member and grand impresario Michael Bivens during a Philly concert, the group performed a rendition of “Can You Stand The Rain” inking their first deal under Motown records and releasing debut album “Cooleyhighharmony” making them an international sensation.
Stepping on stage to signature track “Motownphilly” in true fan frenzy, short of Michael who left the group due to health complications and Nate, Shawn along with Wayna set it off full blown Philly style having fans plunging out their seats reciprocating their ecstatic grand entrance.
Easing the fanfare, they went down memory lane “On Bended Knee” swaying the entire venue in a unison serenade, taking us back to the times of that special someone who got away before pausing to reflect with the audience on life, love, good music and Nate’s active status with the fab trinity.
The romancers resumed festivities to all time oldie “It’s So Hard To say Goodbye to Yesterday” leading an emotional sing-a-long tribute of those lost while switching gears to their love flow on “4 Seasons Of Loneliness”.
Promising listeners would leave the showcase learning something new about the thirty year old trio, Wanya took lead with Shawn on guitar hitting heartfelt notes to Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna come” paying homage to the great along with a few other hip shakers Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman”, Bruno Mars’s “Locked Out Of Heaven” and The Beatles “Come Together” playfully displaying the dynamic duo are not just about ballads and harmonizing.
Following the jam session, the robust tenor touched on the group’s newfound instrumental talents by comical interpretation of Nate while devotedly presenting Shawn’s string skills as he played a graceful version of Eric Clapton’s hit “Wonderful Tonight” gliding his soothing falsetto effortlessly.
“We’re musicians, we’re artists..this is what we do even before we knew we were going to do it. So, when we do these types of songs for you its not just us flexing and showing off its just showing you guys a little piece of us that you might not have known about us before, so when you leave this show you leave with something that you didn’t expect to leave with”, said the melodist.
The impeccable assemble sang an exquisite version of Journey’s “Open Arms” that sailed through a sentimental playlist of award winning smash classics “Water Runs Dry”, “I’ll Make Love To You”, “A Song For Mama”, “One Sweet Day” tenderly dedicated to Wanya’s beloved grandmother, closing with Grammy Award winning hit “End Of The Road”.
“To not just search for your own peace but to give it to others as well, its the only way we’re going to see an actual transformation of this planet cause Lord we need it, its been crazy. So, all we have to do its very simple I know it sounds corny and it may even sound too simplistic or naïve but I’ve seen it..be kind, love one another, try your best to be courteous and just be a human being”-Shawn’s sincere message was so evident, Boyz II Men put on an outstanding performance, clearly coming full circle and leaving a profound mark of true excellence.