TLC, Boyz II Men Take Over Hollywood Bowl: 5 Memorable Moments

Amid the coast-to-coast frenzy surrounding the $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot this week, there was only one magic number for Hollywood Bowl music fans Friday night (July 29): 30. That’s the number of hit-filled year, which TLC and Boyz II men each brought to the stage during their respective 70-minute sets that had the audience screaming, dancing and singing along from start to finish.

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Here are five memorable moments from the Grammy-winning groups’ performances at the Bowl, now celebrating its 100th anniversary:

Hi mr. DJ: Joining the ’90s nostalgia vibe that was already permeating throughout the house, DJ Bubz kicked off his pre-intro set with DMX’s “Party Up (Up in Here).” From there, the party went straight into overdrive as he expertly steered into Kris Kross’ “Jump,” Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and Naughty by Nature’s “OPP,” the latter of which elicited a raucous crowd chant. and rabid arm waved. And still Bubz – busting out his own share of energetic dance moves – kept coming, cheekily sliding into a sample of the TVs theme song The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air before whipping into Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”, Ginuwine’s “Pony” and Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison”. As four silver-clad dancers shot onto the stage, Bubz ended his eight-minute run by asking the hyped crowd a question: “Are you ready for TLC?!”

Still on TLC Tips: Also dressed in silver, TLC’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas opened with “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” followed by “What About Your Friends” — quickly proving that 30 years is nothing but a number. “We’re very happy to be here tonight,” Chilli said. “Some of you have been with us since day one… and you’re still here. We love you.” It showed as the ladies traded lead vocals, harmonized — and also kept up with the dance team — on a number of TLC hits, including crowd-pleasers “Baby-Baby-Baby,” “Creep” and “Red Light Special” (with the stage bathed in red) as well as other cuts such as “Diggin’ on You” and “FanMail.”

A key moment in this segment was T-Boz’s intro to the group’s No. 1 Hot 100 single “Unpretty.” The singer noted, “This next song is near and dear to my heart because I wrote it from my heart. My girlfriend then made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. With social media now, the song still rings true today. ” Then, to applause, she added: “I kicked his a– to the curb.”

Remember Lisa: Unsurprisingly, the crowd erupted when TLC launched into her signature No. 1 hit “No Scrubs,” with Chilli noting beforehand, “This one song is especially important from generation to generation … some of you men have forgotten [audience laughs]. But we never, ever, ever want what?!” Fans screamed back, “No scrubs!” The night’s most moving moment was a tribute to TLC co-founding member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes with the evening’s closing song “Waterfalls” — also featuring Lopes’ voice on the track — as cell phone lights lit up the Bowl. Also a Hot 100 No. 1 for the group, the single was among several TLC songs written by Lopes, who died in 2002.

Expect the unexpected: That was the theme of Boyz II Men’s performance, beginning with a moving overture of several of the group’s songs — including “A Song for Mama” — performed by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra led by its principal conductor, Thomas Wilkins. The theme was further emphasized when Jo Koy took to the stage to introduce the group. “This is the greatest group to ever touch the microphone,” said the stand-up comic. “And we’re here to celebrate tonight.” Wearing black tuxedos and strolling out to a standing ovation, baritone Nathan Morris and tenors Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman opened with “Oh Well,” a vocal-showcasing album number from 2002’s Full circle.

Before joining “On Bended Knee,” one of several long-running Hot 100 No. 1 singles charted by the group over the years, Stockman explained what else was in store for the evening. “We wanted to do something special for you, [so] it’s not your typical show,” he said. “We didn’t just want to give you what you expected. We want to give you a piece of us that you didn’t know existed.” That played into the group being accompanied by Bowlen’s orchestra for the first time. Noted Stockman, “We learned about classical music when we were in school in Philadelphia . So it’s like a homecoming.”

Untouched BY: If singing famous early Boyz II Men cuts like “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”, “Water Runs Dry” and “I Will Get There” (from the DreamWorks animated film Prince of Egypt) or lesser-known album tracks like the beautiful ballad “Girl in the Life Magazine”, the trio’s silky harmonies are still pure and mesmerizing – even more so against the orchestra’s symphonic backdrop. “We’ve always been about the music and singing organically, from the heart,” Nathan said at one point as the group’s band also joined them and the orchestra on stage.

And that led to another surprising twist: Shawn and Wanya picked up guitars, while the group also showed off their vocal versatility on a series of covers, starting with Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” From there, the trio rocked out on Journey’s “Open Arms,” ​​Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” and the Guess Who’s “American Woman” (also covered by Kravitz in 1999). To deviate from the set list, Boyz also performed engaging snippets of The Beatles’ “Come Together” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.” Still, the night wouldn’t have been complete without ending with two of the biggest Boyz II Men songs — and crowd favorites: “I’ll Make Love to You” and “End of the Road.”

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