Boyz II Men bring ‘Motown Philly’ to Sunrise Marketplace
CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA – Boyz II Men and Bell Biv Devoe brought A little bit of hip-hop and a whole lot of harmony to Sunrise Marketplace’s Sunrise at Night Concert Series on Thursday, playing to a packed house.
Bell Biv Devoe kicked off the show with “She’s Dope!” and “I Thought It was Me,” as fans jumped to their feet and started singing and clapping along with original band members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe.
The trio went on to play their other hits including “Do Me!,” “The Best Things in Life Are Free” and their big hit “Poison.”
They also played some New Edition songs, paying homage to their roots. New Edition was the precursor to the boy band movement of the ‘80s and ‘90s, paving the way for Bell Biv Devoe, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync. Bell, Bivins and DeVoe were a part of New Addition along with Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant.
During their finale “Posion” they invited a number of fans up to the stage to dance and sing along with the band.
I found their set to be cluttered as they played a number of medleys, plus their singles were running up against each other with transitions that were lacking, making it difficult to determine what song they were transitioning too. Based on the audience’s reaction I may have been in the minority.
Boyz II Men completely reenergized the audience even though they came out on stage singing “On Bended Knee,” which is one of their slower songs – Let’s face it most of their songs are slower songs.
Original members Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman wore matching outfits included red Philly’s baseball cap with blue Philly’s sweaters.
They followed “On Bended Knee” with yet another slow song “Please Don’t Go,” but fans didn’t care as the majority of the audience remained standing.
One of the best harmony and a cappella groups around, the trio remained tight with their harmonies and had the women swooning whenever Wanya Morris would belt out his solos.
These days Stockman keeps busy as a judge on NBC’s ‘The Sing Off,” including fellow judges Jewel, Ben Folds and host Nick Lachey.
The Boyz deviated from their hits with a tribute to Motown, covering a number of Motown greats such as Smokey Robinson. They lost a few fans during their tribute as it went on a bit too long. Some fans weren’t familiar with some of the material as well and I had the feeling people were waiting for them to get back to their hits.
For their encore they sang ‘End of the Road,” followed by “Motown Philly.”
The two bands put on a great show and thoroughly entertained the crowd. In the end Bell Biv DeVoe lost points due to their DJ Style of going from one song to the next and Boyz II Men lost points for their Motown tribute, leaving some of their hits on the cutting room floor. However, both groups did a superb job of keeping the fans engaged and entertained.
Last week Dave Koz opened the second season of concerts at Sunrise Marketplace in Citrus Heights, and the acts just keep getting better as the season gets underway. Next Saturday it’s Sail Rock with Christopher Cross, Orleans, Fire Fall, John Ford Coley and more.
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