Boyz II Men at The Clay Center By: V.C. McCabe
Charleston, W.V. — Boyz II Men brought their nostalgic and distinctively melodic harmonies to The Clay Center’s Maier Performance Hall on Wednesday night.
The award-winning and record-breaking R&B singing quartet ruled the charts in the 1990s with an impressive string of hits: “Motown Philly,” “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye,” “End of the Road,” “On Bended Knee,” “I’ll Make Love To You,” “Four Seasons of Loneliness,” “Water Runs Dry” and “Song for Mama.”
Boyz II Men are one of only three acts to ever knock themselves off of the Billboard Hot 100, completing an elite trifecta with Elvis Presley and The Beatles. They also spent an unprecedented and, to date, unsurpassed sixteen weeks at the top of the same chart with their 1996 duet with Mariah Carey, “One Sweet Day.”
If the exuberance of The Clay Center crowd was any indication, the ensuing decades and departure of original member Michael McCary have done nothing to diminish the affection or enthusiasm of the group’s fans.
From their opening note, the Boyz had the audience on their feet, singing along, screaming cheers of “I love you!” and waving arms of adoration in the air.
Now a trio comprised of baritone Nathan Morris and tenors Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris, Boyz II Men currently has a weekend residency at The Mirage in Las Vegas in between national tour dates.
Boyz II Men have always been known for their impeccable harmonies, romantic melodies and wholesome, family friendly concerts. Their Clay Center performance was no exception.
The trio treated the local audience to the aforementioned Boyz fan favorites, a handful of lesser known album cuts and a few covers –including Lonestar’s “Amazed,” Journey’s “Open Arms” and a medley of Motown classics “Money (That’s What I Want)” and “Reach Out (I’ll Be There).”
Aside from a single video screen and some roses tossed to the giddy females in the front row, the concert was refreshingly free of pomp and artifice. In a time when actual singing seems to hold little value in the entertainment industry, it’s nice to be reminded of music’s more dulcet yesteryears.
Their glory days may have been over twenty years ago, but Boyz II Men’s greatest appeal remains the same: their extraordinary voices.