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Doo-Wop And Pop With The Boyz At Kickoff Concert For New Arena

Fri., Sept. 22, 1995, midnight

The Spokane Arena will kick off its first concert on Monday night with pop music sensations Boyz II Men and Montell Jordan.

And you’d think that with this being the venue’s first concert (granted, by virtue of the postponement of the John Michael Montgomery concert Sept. 16), and that its performers are two of the biggest names in pop music, the show would have sold out a long time ago.

As it stands, good seats are still aplenty at the Arena for the concert.

After selling millions of copies of their records, and playing to sold-out crowds across the country, it’s kind of hard to fathom why Boyz II Men and Jordan haven’t sold out Spokane.

The big reason is that both acts just played The Gorge in mid-August, a sold-out concert that attracted 18,000 fans.

But regardless of how many thousand pop fans show up at the Arena, it’s sure to be one of the hottest pop music concerts to come to Spokane in a long time.

The proof lies with Boyz II Men’s Gorge performance. At the show, the vocal foursome entranced the sold-out crowd with an endless stream of hit singles.

The rhythm-and-blues wonder, one of the best-selling acts in the business, has become such a huge name because it dredges up old ‘50s and ‘60s doo-wop and sets it to ‘90s-tinged R&B;, funk and hip-hop.

The group epitomizes everything good about the genre. Like predecessors such as the Temptations, The Four Tops and the Platters, Boyz II Men purveys sugary-sweet and tight four-part harmonies.

The foursome’s blend has garnered it a wide audience, from 7-year-old fans to music professors.

“Their sound really is a refinement of what we’ve heard all these years,” Robert Cooper, professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music, recently told an interviewer. “Everything else prepared us for them. They have all the doo-wop, all the jazz, all the Mowtown, plus the pop background.”

Boyz II Men has also paved the way for a number of other chart-topping groups in recent years - all of which are attempting to cash in on the Boyz II Men cash cow.

But this group remains the crowned king of vocal pop. Otis Williams of the Temptations has a theory about this.

“You see a lot of groups coming along with their pants down … a real sloppy-looking image,” Williams recently told an interviewer. “Boyz II Men are doing it the right way. They’re doing music the way it should be made and maintaining the image the way it should be carried. In essence, that’s why they’re selling beaucoup albums.”

The big question about Monday’s concert is whether or not Montell Jordan, singer of the smash hit “This Is How We Do It,” will show up for his scheduled opening set.

At The Gorge, Jordan, who was supposed to open, arrived late and ended up taking the stage after Boyz II Men’s show. According to reviewer Isamu Jordan, most people walked out on the singer.

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Boyz II Men/Montell Jordan Location and time: The Arena, Monday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $37.50 and $27.50

This sidebar appeared with the story: Boyz II Men/Montell Jordan Location and time: The Arena, Monday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $37.50 and $27.50

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