A concert 20 years in the making

Editor's note: This article is a concert review

Reporter Alyssa Jung with Boyz II Men.

Reporter Alyssa Jung with Boyz II Men.

— To the right of the stage was a curtain. Behind it was a door and through the door was an outdoor patio. At 7:38 p.m., the curtain moved and a few shrieks erupted, then quickly faded. False alarm.

At seconds past 8 p.m., Vapor Night Club in Saratoga Casino and Raceway became a deafening thunder of screams, clapping and other unintelligible exclamations when Nathan, Wanya and Shawn of Boyz II Men attacked the stage.

Their opening number was “Motownphilly,” the hit off their debut album that would launch them into fame. They danced. They spoke to the crowd. Their energy was contagious. By the time they cut the song short right before its closing harmonies, the audience was hooked.

There’s something about Boyz II Men fans. Most are crazed. If you look around at a concert, you’ll see middle aged women flustered like teenagers, 20-somethings clutching themselves in excitement and men presumably playing the role of dutiful companion, genuinely enjoying themselves. Vapor had no chairs but they would have been useless; there’s no way the crowd was going to calmly sit and observe.

With a career spanning 20 years, how could a group of three (previously four) men attract such a varied group of fans? It’s simple: the music.

As Wanya said between songs, people want to listen to good music — people appreciate real music with meaningful lyrics and true vocals, and that’s exactly what you get from Boyz II Men.

Time has not lessened their talent and their voices are still flawless. And the music? Well, that’s what led them to continue selling out venues even without fresh, original content in years.

They crooned the classics: “End of the Road,” “Bended Knee,” “4 Seasons of Loneliness,” “Water Runs Dry,” “Song for Mama.” They got the place dancing with a Motown medley and a new staple of their concerts is an amazing rendition of the Grammy-winning Lonestar hit, “Amazed,” a song they originally turned down to record and now call their “biggest mistake.” When the first notes of “I’ll Make Love To You” played, the crowd went crazy and each guy handed coveted roses to fans.

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