Last Saturday, there was a special surprise at the end of the Mets game. Boyz II Men played a free concert. As the members of the R&B group are now in their 40s and certainly have better things to do than play free concerts, my expectations were low. But holy shit, they blew my mind!
Like many kids born in the early 80s, Boyz II Men provided much of the soundtrack to my youth. I had the single "Motownphilly" on a cassette tape that I played on my coveted yellow Sony Sports boombox. My first slow dance was to "End of the Road." I always imaged "On Bended Knee" would be playing the background, when I proposed to my special girl one day.
I liked MC Hammer. I enjoyed Tag Team. But I loved Boyz II Men.
Despite my enthusiasm, watching MTV was as close as I ever got to seeing Boyz II Men live. I grew up in the country, and big name acts didn't make it through very often. So when I heard about this post-Mets game performance I bought tickets immediately. But I didn't really expect them to perform. It was a free concert, so I was thinking they'd probably just walk out onto the pitcher's mound with microphones and sing over a backing track. It would be a funny story to tell my coworkers at best.
Boy was I wrong! After some crazy people set up a full on stage in approximately seven minutes, the three remaining members of Boyz II Men stormed out onto the field in matching Mets jerseys and hats. They didn't play a couple of hits. They played all of them. They also did a number of heart-stopping covers of classics by R&B legends like the Four Tops. By the time "Motownphilly" came on at the end, everyone in CitiField was standing up.
I had tears in my eyes. Flashbacks to slow dances stormed through my head, and I remember how sweaty my hands were while I danced with my sixth grade girlfriend. I could hear the buttons of that Sony Sports boombox clicking as I'd rewind back to my favorite parts. I looked over at my date, and I wondered… well… let's not get carried away.
Boyz II Men is currently finishing up a tour, and they begin an extended residency at the Mirage in Las Vegas next week. If you can't make it out to see them live, you should dust off your old cassette player and slip into your own cozy fog of nostalgia. It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. But the great thing about music is that you never really have to. [Spotify, iTunes, Amazon]
Welcome to Soundtrack, what Gizmodo's staff are listening to every night.