Get ready for an R&B flashback in the flashiest of ways as Boyz II Men takes you on a soulful journey with a collection of their hits from years past, a sample of their new music, an a capella quartet demonstration as well as an energetic sample of some of Motown classics.
Boyz II Men have officially joined the ranks of many entertainment greats including Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and Guns N’ Roses with an extended residency in Las Vegas at The Mirage Hotel and Casino.
The four-time Grammy Award-winning R&B group (now composed of baritone Shawn Stockman and tenors Nathan Morris and Wanya Morris) kicks off their headlining show with the popular “Beautiful Woman,” accompanied by an energizing full band made up of a drummer, a bass and electric guitarist, a trumpeter, a trombonist and a saxophonist who performs with them throughout the show.
Smoothly transitioning into an upbeat Motown segment after performing various fan favorites such as “On Bended Knee,” the three-man group exits the stage as a video reel of their accomplishments and love for Motown awe the audience across the theater’s three central video display screens. With just enough time for a wardrobe change, the men re-emerge onto the stage, only this time clad in dazzling gold coats and Motown classic black and white, polished loafers opposed to their opening ensembles of sleek black, sequined-lapel suits.
With a brief pre-recorded explanation from all three group members of their favorite Motown inspirations explaining how Motown is “…a sound that has basically shaped how we listen to music today,” the group takes to their microphones belting out their revived rendition of The Temptations’ 1965 classic “My Girl.”
With synchronized choreography and jubilant energy, Boyz II Men do what they do best and bring the audience to their feet encouraging their fans to dance and sing along…and without hesitation, seemingly every onlooker becomes a part of the show as the soul of the performance resonates throughout the crowd while they dance and sing along with the stars to several other Motown favorites including Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears.”
Following the Motown segment is a hilarious YouTube video reel of Boyz II Men fans singing (and…let’s be honest…attempting to sing) a variety of the group’s hits all while the stage is swiftly transformed into a street scene of their hometown, Philadelphia. Complete with a bench, a sneaker-strewn lamp post and a few trash cans, the Boyz include their backup singer, Mark Nelson, and give the band a break as they indulge the audience in their a capella quartet set.
Again changing clothes, the feel becomes even more hometown as the singers are dressed in jeans, chucks and red sequined, “P” (for Philadelphia, of course) adorned letterman sweaters, the audience gets a feel of how the group came to be long before they were ever famous; the singers performed on street corners and subway platforms in this fashion before working their way backstage at a Bell Biv DeVoe concert in 1989 and impressing Michael Bivins, who offered them a deal.
Nearing the show’s end, a guitar jam session that includes the band’s guitarist as well as Stockman takes place before the highly anticipated performance of “I’ll Make Love to You.” Having won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for this chart-topping love track, not only do the fans know every word of the song, but they know that this is their chance in the show to get up close to the crooning performers.
As soon as the first chords strike this song into its first verse, each singer gathers an armful of long-stem red roses and the women of the auditorium crowd the front of the stage in hopes of receiving a piece of the bouquets that the singers’ ever so gently toss out to their admirers.
But even though it is during this song that the group becomes very involved with the audience members, this is not the only interaction that the group makes with the audience. Throughout the show, the group engages with the audience on the floor level even selecting women to dance with at various parts of the performance. Making it a very personal and humble performance, perhaps this is why these men have retained such a strong following seeing that they truly value their fans’ show experience. (Insider tip: If you want a chance to dance with, shake hands with or maybe even get a hug from one of the Boyz II Men group members during the show, try to book your ticket for the first few front rows.)
Concluding the show with the audience on their feet, the ever-lively, harmonizing group shakes their fans’ hands, gives out some hugs and sends off sincere waves to the back of the house before the final curtain closes.
In the beginning of the group’s Mirage residency, Vice President of Hotel Operations Franz Kallao remarked, “All of us at The Mirage are excited to welcome Boyz II Men to our resort, giving guests the opportunity to experience one of the best R&B groups in the music industry,” and clearly that welcome is still alive and well as Boyz II Men remain one of the best R&B groups to date.