SAN FRANCISCO – A night at the symphony looked a bit different tonight. Grammy Award-winning iconic group Boyz II Men joined conductor Edwin Outwater and the San Francisco Symphony in front of a packed house at the Davies Symphony Hall. B2M singing career took off back in 1988 when the group met at the Philadelphia Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia, PA.
Since then the group has been an international success, four Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, three Billboard Awards, four Soul Train Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just to name a few accomplishments over the last few decades. Tonight they went back to their roots, a place where they felt most comfortable and that’s performing with an Orchestra.
Outwater led his symphony with the a song that spent 16 weeks on Billboards Hot 100. It was the longest running number one song in the chart’s history back in 1995. That song was, “One Sweet Day” it was one of B2M most popular tracks performed with Mariah Carey. By the third song, Shawn Stockman, Nathan Morris and Wanya Morris walked out to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd.
The group donned black fancy tuxedos, each expressing their own style. B2M began their first set with an old classic “On Bended Knee”. Stockman said the band learned about many of the greatest classical composers of all time in high school, like Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Stephen Brown to name a few.
“We all met at a high school for performing arts and grew up listening to some of the greatest composers of all time. I think the San Francisco Symphony behind us is very appropriate for tonight’s performance,” said Stockman.
The next song was “Season of Love” followed by “Girl in the Life Magazine”, “Pass You By”, “Water Runs Dry” and “I Will Get There” were all performed before intermission. After the break, B2M sung their #1 hit “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye” off their first album. The audience stood up and sung along, the original song was from the movie Cooley High back in 1975. B2M sang the cover on this song for their first album, Cooleyhighharmony.
The next two songs were also covers that featured “Open Arms” by Journey and “Easy” by the Commodores. Stockman who taught himself how to play the guitar via Youtube performed a solo act with his guitar which was featured on their 11th album titled Collied. The next song was a special melody to the band that was written by Babyface called “The Color of Love”.
All three members of B2M received a dozen roses each, then they announced the next song that brought women running from their seats to the front of the stage. While singing “I’ll Make Love To You” which was one of their number one hits Morris, Stockman and Morris handed out roses to many of the screaming women in front of them hoping to get a selfie or photo as a lasting memory.
The group continued performing their classics hits like “So Amazing” before thanking the crowd and taking their final bow. Well, at least that’s what we all thought, but another standing ovation brought the group back on stage for an encore. And nothing seemed more appropriate than performing “End Of The Road” which was another number one hit off their first album.
Photos by Christopher M. Howard