All Grown Up

Show proves the ‘End of the Road’ for Boyz II Men still a long way off

With Boyz II Men’s extended engagement at the Flamingo, Las Vegas finally offers nostalgia for my generation. Almost. Their single “I’ll Make Love to You” was No. 1 for 14 weeks in 1994. I was in seventh grade, and the song’s plaintive strains are now forever associated with the unsatisfied yearnings of a junior high slow dance. (Never mind that the lyrics were probably inappropriate for a 12-year-old.)

If the audience’s exuberance during the Boyz’s Dec. 16 show at the Flamingo is any indication, a lot of people have their own special memories of Shawn Stockman and Nathan and Wanya Morris. And considering that they are the best-selling R&B group of all time, it’s almost surprising that they’re not already regulars on the Las Vegas nostalgia circuit.

The show itself consists of enough variety to keep even casual fans interested: They flow between their hits (“On Bended Knee,” “A Song for Mama”), a Motown medley (“My Girl,” “Reach Out”) and Christmas songs (including “Let it Snow”). There’s onstage banter, audience sing-alongs, a cappella harmonies and a little crowd-pleasing synchronized dancing. Oh, and several comically understated costume changes—from sweater vests to suits and ties, for example.

My favorite part was when Boyz sang my seventh-grade song. Each singer handed out long-stem roses to a growing crowd of women standing at the foot of the stage. I was too shy to get a rose, but it was still a gratifying conclusion to my junior-high wistfulness.

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Robert Knight was the last man to photograph Stevie Ray Vaughan in concert before the guitar virtuoso’s untimely death. The final thing Vaughan said to him was, “You’ll know me when you hear me.” This is where the film Rock Prophecies begins, with Knight’s journey to find the next Stevie Ray. The Las Vegas Hilton recently ran a special screening of the documentary about rock ’n’ roll photographer Robert Knight, who has a gallery in the North Tower of the Hilton.