Posts Tagged ‘Boyz II Men’

Review: The Package Tour


If anyone knew anything about me, it was that I’ve always been a big boy band fan. Well not big in the sense that I would attend concerts in every city, purchase official merchandise or stalk bands outside their hotels when they made special apepearances, but I would listen to their music and learn the choreography for their hit music videos (Backstreet’s Back… whhaaaattt!).

So I actually attenended my first ‘boy band’ concert on July 28th at the Air Canada Centre. It was the second Toronto visit for The Package Tour which featured headliners New Kids On The Block, R&B sensations Boyz II Men, and crooners 98 Degrees. After missing out on a Groupon deal, I got a friend to score some tickets.

Not surprisingly the venue was filled with thousands of 30-something fans, hoping to reminis the musical era that brought them good-looking men who had them swooning at the sound of their love ballads. Thankfully the show started on time and they were right on schedule with all their acts (some artists can learn from this *cough*LaurynHill*cough*).

First to the stage was Philadelphia natives Boyz II Men (comprised of Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman). I have loved this group since they were an original quartet (Michael McCary left the group years ago due to health reasons) . Clad in white suits they had virtually the same vocal ability as they did when they entered the scene with Cooleyhighharmony in ’91. They all had great energy, interacted with the fans near the stage, and even Wanya even broke down in some running-man dance moves. They sung hits including “I’ll Make Love To You”, “End of the Road” and closed their set with an enthusiastic “Motownphilly” (I almost had to school some girl in the row behind me when she was asking was ABC and BBD stood for and she had to data to look it up on her smart phone). Loved it!

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men hand out a few long-stemmed roses to some swooning ladies in the front row.

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men break it down during their energetic performance during The Package Tour.

Next up was 98 Degrees. They were on my ‘Top 5’ boy band list back in the late 90s (well, maybe because of Jeff Timmon’s muscles… dammit, I wish I caught the suspenders he threw in the audience). Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons belted out their tracks “I Do”, “Because of You” and my personal fav, “The Hardest Thing”. They even serenaded a few girls after they brought them on stage.

98 Degrees

98 Degrees makes their entrance at The Package Tour.

98 Degrees

98 Degrees singing to some lucky females at The Package Tour concert.

Last, but certainly not least, was New Kids On The Block. I admit that I was more of a MC Hammer fan when these boys came out, but to my surprise I was actually singing along with all of their songs as they were performing them. After a short intro informing the crowd that the next two hours would be a performance to remember, NKOTB graced the stage to a loud chorus of screaming women (an probably some men as well).


The New Kids on the Block debut during the July 28 Package Tour concert at the Air Canada Centre.

Now I knew I ain’t no spring chicken, but when NKOTB kept repeating that “it’s been 25 years”, I felt damn old! Brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood had their first real hit in 1986 with “Please Don’t Go, Girl”.

When NKOTB originally formed in the 80s I was a Jordan fan. But after Sunday’s concert, Donnie is my new favourite member (as man-whorish as he may seem after yet another concert lip-lock with a female fan). The body on him is ridiculous! I still can’t believe these men are in the 40s and singing and dancing like they were decades ago!


Donnie Wahlberg takes it off on stage (those are some nice abs).

NKOTB definitely made my night: Jordan’s high notes, Donnie frequently getting partially nekkid, even Danny’s break-dancing was fun to watch. Jordan and Donnie taking the cameras and filming the audience from their POV was great. All five of them even wandered into the crowd to be more accessible to their fans. The stage set up was done well: from the rotating stage to the rising hydraulic platforms (Joey’s got some good balance, I’ll tell you that much), to the pyrotechnics, smoke and lights. I even liked the cover they did of George Michael’s “Faith”. NKOTB ended their concert with a tribute to their hometown of Boston by wearing Bruins jerseys and belting out “Hangin’ Tough”.


The men looking good in their suits.


New Kids belt it out with yet another wardrobe change.

I can honestly say that The Package Tour was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to (all 3.5 hours of it). Singing tracks from their latest album 10, to stuff from back in the day like “Step by Step” and “The Right Stuff”, they were flawless in their performance. Full of energy from both the artists and the crowd, with hits that sparked the nostalgia that was my youth. It was like strolling down memory lane (minus the screaming female fans). Thank goodness I brought my DSLR and zoom lens to take some of these awesome photos!


The band has a great set of pipes.

Now if only I can finally see a Backstreet Boys concert (yeah, tickets for next Wednesday’s show are sold out :( ).