All-4-One Wednesday, Oct. 11, Opera House
Because All-4-One barely sold enough tickets to pack a movie theater, the group performed in the Spokane Opera House instead of the Spokane Arena on Wednesday night.
Once All-4-One took the stage, it was clear why only a few hundred teenagers and their parents were willing to pay to see the so-called show.
The singing paralleled a cat in labor, while a stage show of any sort was virtually non-existent.
Four members comprise the group. However, only two actually sing, or try to pass what they do for singing anyway. The other half of the quartet spent most of the evening near the rear of the stage, dancing offbeat and humming in the background.
The laziness of the All-4-One members showed when they were singing from the seat of their pants during several songs. They even went as far as dragging out a recliner for one of the vocalists while the rest sat on the floor.
Just when it seemed the stage show couldn’t get any worse, the lights when down and the All-4-One members each grabbed a pair of flashlights and waved them around in sync, resembling well-choreographed air-traffic controllers.
When the group was willing to put forth the physical energy and dance, most of the steps were New Kids on the Block/Milli Vanilli carbon copies.
But, really, the only thing worse than All-4-One’s dancing was its singing. Listening to 90 minutes of police sirens would be more melodic.
About midshow, a fake backdrop of an apartment building was set up, and All-4-One members were sitting on steps that, with extreme amounts of imagination (and perhaps help from strong hallucinogens), was supposed to be leading up to the apartment entrance. Then the group butchered a series of ‘50s doo-wop-style songs, slaughtered an a capella version of “Jesus Loves Me,” and finally ended the skit with the debut single “So Much In Love.”
The next skit was equally corny. A handful of radio-contest winners were brought to the stage, matching T-shirts and all, and All-4-One serenaded them in a Cotton Club setting.
All-4-One, dressed in ill-fitting pinstripe suits, whined ballad after nauseating ballad.
Every now and again the short, dumpy bass vocalist would waddle front stage and mumble something in a forced deep voice, attempting to be sexy. But it sounded only silly.
The whole scene was reminiscent of the 1988 Star Search semifinals.
The best song was the jazz interlude between set changes.
But, as bad as All-4-One’s performance was, the opener was worse. Joanne, a Canadian bleached blonde wearing a tiny gold dress, sounded like the type of person who would get drunk and go to a bar with a karaoke machine and abuse the luxury for an hour - and then get mad when people don’t applaud.