Friday night I got to check another act off of my 90s Obsessions bucket-list. My sister and I were lucky enough to be front row at the Boyz II Men and Bel Biv Devoe concert at Rock the Rapids. It was amazing. I have loved B2M since I was single-digits and never thought I’d be able to see them live. Admittedly, I only know “Poison” by BBD, but I was excited to see them as well.
I rushed from work Friday afternoon and crossed my fingers that my makeup hadn’t melted off my face since applying it earlier in the morning. Nobody wants their eyebrows to slide down their temples. Not cute. I parked and headed down to the entrance to wait in line with the rest of the eager concert-goers. My sister met me shortly after I arrived and we shared our excitement until we were allowed entry into the gate. We refused to be anywhere but the front row but also refuse to run for anything that isn’t life threatening. Thankfully, we had met a young, strapping guy in line who was just as serious about concert-real estate as we were. He ran up ahead and we ended up as close to “front and center” as we could have hoped for.
It was sweltering outside but luckily my eighteen layers of makeup had held up pretty well. My lips were still neon pink (the color of getting 90s crooners’ attention) and I was only a little gross. We grabbed a couple of beers and posted up for the main event. When Bel Biv Devoe took the stage, a tiny giggle escaped my lips. They were small. Very small. And they looked as if they hadn’t aged since New Edition. One of them looked like a miniature Jamie Foxx, one was decently attractive and marginally tall and the third was a bit on the portly side and sweating to prove it. I have no idea what their names are and don’t care enough to google it. I thought they put on a great performance and especially loved the matching white leather vests and high-kicking 80s dance moves. At one point, I was trying to check out their three wives who stood on the sidelines and I was nudged by the girl next to me. It seems the sweaty one was trying to talk to me through the microphone. “Hey, girl in the stripes. With that hair. Yeah girl!” I was a bit embarrassed but more confused. Was there a reaction I was supposed to have? Should I have squealed? I didn’t. Instead I covered my face in mock bashfulness and gave him the “who, me?” eyes. As soon as the first notes to “Poison” blasted through the speakers I grabbed my homemade sign to display, “Never trust this big butt and smile!” The sweaty one instructed me to hold it up and all three expressed their delight in the sign (and I’m assuming my big butt, as well).
Between sets we made friends with the security guards who had managed to snag the coveted stage posts. One was a short, stocky wrestling coach and the other a gigantically attractive black man. He learned our names and invited us to quiz him once the show was over. We did and he passed. He then told a story about his 18-year old daughter and I dismissed him as an option.
At last, Boyz II Men and another fulfilled childhood dream hit the stage. They were wearing their requisite dorky matching outfits and also didn’t appear to have aged since “Motown Philly”. Shawn looked a bit smaller than I hoped but they were all adorable. My sister and I immersed ourselves in the swarm of 90s goodness and ended getting quite a bit of eye-contact and smiling/waving attention from the Boyz. Once they opened their beautiful mouths to sing “I’ll Make Love to You” (my favorite) I noticed they each had a few long-stem red roses in hand. I lost my shit. Nathan wandered over and tossed a rose to my sister and then wandered away. No. There was no way I was going home without an “I’ll Make Love to You” rose. No way. Thankfully, Nathan felt my teenybopper-creeper vibes and came back. He looked into my eyes, winked and gently tossed a rose into my hands. I’m pretty sure in that moment I was impregnated by all three of them at once. And I’m ok with that. I didn’t think they’d do much dancing and anticipated a low-energy show full of ballads and delightful vocal runs. What we got was that and so much more. They also had hilarious 90s choreography that could only be described as “funky fresh”, including variations on “the running man” and “roger rabbit”. None took to the dancing more than Wanya Morris. He was hysterical. The other guys would often playfully shove him out of the way to continue their singing. I loved every second of it.
When the show closed we wiped away our disappointment that it couldn’t last forever and got our hands on a couple of copies of the setlist once they were ripped from the stage. Armed with those and our prized roses we headed out of the festival lot and onto the rest of our lives. Much like I converted from Joe Mac to Donnie Wahlberg, I do believe I’m now a Nathan fan instead of Shawn. Nathan’s pelvic thrusts were just exponentially better than Shawn’s. Hence the pregnancy.
I’ll update in 9 months or so on that whole Boyz II Baby status.