LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS
By: Fridae Mattas
When I heard Boyz II Men were coming to Toronto’s Kool Haus I had to be there! Thanks to Boyz II Men, their management and BMWpromo.com for allowing me to see and capture the B2M effect live! Before I get on with the show I have to discuss this Legendary vocal group, if you don’t know who they are honestly you are either really young or have no clue about music. Boyz II Men are the Kings of Vocal Harmonies, their songs are among the very few that will forever be seen as classics and stay relevant through the decades. Love never goes out of style whether you are in it or not! People just need to be reminded of the good music and that is why I am here, to help everyone remember. You always need some Boyz II Men in your life!
This Grammy award winning Motown Soul R&B A Capella vocal group is from Philadelphia Pennsylvania and have sold over 60 million albums worldwide. They dominated the charts with hit singles like “I’ll Make Love To You”, “End Of The Road”, “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey and “On Bended Knee” which has probably been used at more weddings than any other song in the history of love songs and you can find it on FridaeTV linked at the end of the review. Boyz II Men formed in 1988 out of High School as ‘Unique Attraction’ but renamed themselves soon after. Nathan Morris, Marc Nelson, Sean Stockman, Wanya Morris and Michael McCary were Boyz II Men. Just before the group signed a recording contract Nelson left the group and the quartet’s destiny was set from there. In the 1990’s they were the biggest selling musical act of their kind and still are the biggest selling male R&B group. To this day, I haven’t heard anyone surpass the greatness of Boyz II Men. In 2003 the groups Bass Michael McCary parted ways due to his scoliosis and the three remaining members Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman continued on as a trio. Every guy wanted to sing and dance like Boyz II Men they inspired so many people when they picked up right where New Edition their inspirations left off. Boyz II Men basically set the standard for the “Boyband/Toyband” and how they should sound, dance and act, most of the Toyband’s tunes are extremely cliché but not Boyz II Men’s! They truly are vocal artists with solid harmonies and distinct sonatas, the love Boyz II Men have to share with their music will forever be timeless.
Back to the show, although they are now three these guys still have a huge audience and it was crystal clear the people will always come to see these old school Larries break it down regardless of the missing member. The concert goers were a strong blended mix of ages, couples, singles and races, perfect example of how multiculturally diverse Toronto is. The show was not sold out but there was about 1800 people that came in the rain to the Kool Haus just to see these legends live in their face performing most of their eternal classics. When it comes to groups like Boyz II Men you are guaranteed live vocals, they don’t use auto-tune because they don’t need it. Auto-tune is popular among shitty try hard singers that are thrilled to hide their talentless tone deaf pitchy vocals to fulfill their dream of being famous. Look at the girl who made bank with the assiest song on the century! A joke song or not it shows how technology has come a long way and the studio magic of today is so advanced, auto-tune can fool virgin ears and the sheep that follow the masses easily.
Quality over quantity seems to have disappeared, leaping way past people’s ears these days and its because of what the mainstream music outlets feed the public. What every suit forgets is that if they like it they will be loyal supporters and continue to buy the product. Perfect example of this is Adele, she is not by any means industry standard but people love her music because she is a real artist pouring her feelings out into her art and it just so happens that everyone else can relate to her realistic songs. Music is not dead but the major record labels are crumbling because now it is easier than ever to find music that appeals to you directly on your own and also allows the artist to take their career into their own hands cutting out the middle man. It’s time we bring back the quality music like Boyz II Men who kicked off their fourteen track set with the intro molding into “Thank You” followed by “Motown” and “Muzak” a most interesting medley to open a show with and the crowd was fanatical the minute they hit the stage. I was not expecting them to dance, yet they all busted a move to the choreography including Wanya who was a little out of breath but the ladies did not seem to mind at all, they were absolutely in love with him especially when he broke it down. They did a phenomenal job especially because they are no spring chickens but still sing and dance better than the average male.
They did not have a live band to back them up, the trio just sang to the backing tracks and unlike most who do, these three amigos were singing for real and it sounded crisp, fluid and flawless. On occasion you could tell there was a little something missing as they sang their hearts out truly feeling the music but they kept it going. I couldn’t have been happier about their performance; thinking it was going to be a huge letdown I was absolutely floored and thrilled at how incredible they still are. This was my first time seeing them live, Boyz II Men exceeded all my expectations! Winning the crowd over was a cakewalk they didn’t even need to sing, the fans were so loud and sang every word along with them! The lucky ladies in the front row were close enough to touch the group and the larries in turn made it an intimate enough experience to serenade…Exactly what they did. During “On Bended Knee” Wanya and Shawn went down literally on bended knee at separate times and held onto one of the fans hands as they sang. That probably was the highlight of each Woman’s life judging by their shrill reactions they clearly likee. Obviously there were more females in attendance but almost just as many guys who screamed just as loud if not louder in some cases. They closed off the performance with Motown Philly right after they sang one of my favorite tracks “End Of The Road”. Boys II Men must be seen live, it was an incredible experience to listen and watch actual vocal talent on the stage. Divacam loved them as you can tell by the amazing shots, they are definitely worth your money, I definitley have to see them live again. Huge thank you to my brother from another Mother for helping out with the filming! Boyz II Men are on tour right now, tonight they are in Denver so make sure to hit up the website for more details and future dates. Catch these legends in action while you can my friends, you will not be disappointed! Boyz II Men are Fridae Approved!