Sunday, pop music’s version of Lollapalooza, perhaps one of the most-anticipated summer tours, touches down in the Gorge. The bill features the mighty pop triumvirate Boyz II Men, TLC and Montell Jordan.
Boyz II Men headlines the extravaganza.
There’s little doubt when the vocal quartet takes stage that the screams of young girls will be heard all over Grant County.
Boyz II Men, featuring vocalists Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, Nathan Morris (no relation) and Michael McCary, has come to be the most popular R&B;/a capella act on the planet.
Recognized by its four-part harmonies, the group’s two albums - “Cooleyhigharmony” and “II” have sold a combined 17 million copies.
Unlike any other act, the four woo both children and adults. Their blending of ‘50s doo-wop with ‘90s hip-hop can explain this.
Just like their predecessors the Platters, the Four Tops, the Drifters and the Temptations, the members of Boyz II Men don suits and choreograph their stage show.
They’ve also inspired such vocal groups as All 4 One, Jodeci and Silk to capitalize on their success.
The group’s most recent charttopping hits include “I’ll Make Love To You” and “On Bended Knee.”
Second on the bill are the pop divas that comprise TLC.
Ever since last summer, when rebellious singer-rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes burned down boyfriend and Atlanta Falcons player Andre Rison’s mansion, TLC has been embroiled in controversy. Fortunately for TLC, its successful “Crazy Sexy Cool” release has focused attention instead on its music.
“Crazy” ranks as one of the best pop releases to come out in a while. Driven by such compelling hits as “Waterfalls,” “Red Light Special” and “Creep,” the album dominates both the charts and the airwaves.
Opener Jordan, one of the year’s most surprising newcomers, came out of nowhere with the monster hit “This Is How We Do It,” an ode to the party life in South Central L.A.
And now, Jordan, who had tried to crack the business for seven years, is adjusting to his sudden success.
“I didn’t understand all that comes with having a good song,” Jordan said in the latest issue of Vibe magazine. “The smiling, the autographs, all the responsibility - it’s been nonstop. I haven’t had time to reflect on what’s going on.”
On his debut album, the singer strives to capture the positive aspects of his hometown, not the gun-toting gangsta hoopla.
“I wanted to focus on the positive of what was going on. I wanted to make records about seeing my moms or my grandmother having barbecues … being nostalgic,” said the Pepperdine University graduate. “It’s not all peaches and cream, but it’s not all drive-bys either.”
The pressure’s on for Jordan to deliver another hit, especially if he wants to stick around next year.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Boyz II Men/TLC/Montell Jordan Location and time: The Gorge, Sunday, 7 p.m. Tickets: Sold out