Boyz II Men - Caesars Windsor March 3, 2024Dan Savoie

Boyz II Men perform at Caesars Windsor on March 3, 2024

Just across the Detroit River from the hallowed grounds of Motown, the legendary R&B vocal group Boyz II Men brought their soulful Motownphilly sound to Caesars Windsor on Sunday night. Despite being just over an hour, the performance packed in all the classic hits and unexpected surprises that have made them the best-selling R&B group of all time.

A brief history first: Boyz II Men rose to fame in the early 90s after being discovered by New Edition’s Michael Bivins. Their debut album “Cooleyhighharmony” was a monster success, led by the iconic singles “Motownphilly” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” The group’s soaring harmonies and smooth R&B grooves made them crossover stars.

 

The trio of Nathan Morris, Wanyá Morris and Shawn Stockman opened the show appropriately with “Motownphilly,” their breakthrough hit fusing new jack swing with classic Motown vibes. They followed it with beloved ballads like “On Bended Knee,” “Hey Lover” and the #1 smash “I’ll Make Love to You.”

Shawn Stockman provided one of the night’s biggest surprises by breaking out an electric guitar for a tender and well played rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” complete with a blistering solo.

The cover song highlights resonated throughout the night with a goosebump-inducing medley that spanned decades and genres. They wove together Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” The Beatles’ “Come Together,” Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way”, The Guess Who’s “American Woman”, and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” into one seamless sequence

While their vocals remain as pristine as ever, the Boyz also showcased their personalities and charisma throughout the night. They frequently engaged the audience, telling stories and cracking jokes between songs like “Please Don’t Go” and “4 Seasons of Loneliness.” Wanyá in particular was an endless well of energy and enthusiasm.

As the main set wound down, they brought the romance with “Water Runs Dry” and a powerful cover of Journey’s “Open Arms.” For the closing of the show, the Boyz had the audience handle Mariah Carey’s vocals on their signature duet “One Sweet Day,” which brought out Windsor’s massive feminine voice.

In the end, Boyz II Men achieved their goal as stated – to make this a moment that will never happen again. Their vocals sounded as rich and pure as they did decades ago from the opening of Motownphilly to the closing epic “End of the Road.”

While a longer set would have been welcome, they made the most of their 60 minutes by packing in all the hits and adding some fun surprises along the way.

Shawn Stockman made it clear that Boyz II Men wanted this performance to be more than just a nostalgic trip down memory lane. He explained that their aim was to reframe how fans experience their classic songs and connect with the group’s own diverse musical influences.

The covers and genre-blending medley were all part of this mission. By infusing unexpected elements like Stockman’s guitar work on “Wonderful Tonight” or blending hits from vastly different artists, they hoped to add new layers of soul and fresh perspectives to their trademark harmonies. As Stockman told the audience:

“We want everybody here to know that just like you, we love music. We enjoy it. We go to concerts like you, we go to shows like you. We have our favorite artists just like you. This is our way of paying homage and also letting you guys know the type of music that we listen to in our private time.”

The goal was for fans to walk away not just having heard the hits they expected, but with a deeper appreciation for the versatility and artistic vision driving Boyz II Men’s music. As Stockman explained, “We hope that the music hits a little different now, that it’s a little more soulful, that it’s a little more of a connection.”

For Boyz II Men, it was a mission accomplished.

We celebrated the incredible legacy of Boyz II Men while reminding everyone just how timeless and impactful their music remains. From Motownphilly to Windsor, these R&B legends continue to make the world swoon one flawless harmony at a time.

All photos by Dan Savoie

 

 

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