When news spread that renowned American vocal harmony group Boyz II Men would be visiting Kenya, there was an incredible buzz across online platforms.
While some expressed concerns about ticket prices, others understood that they were paying for nothing less than exceptional quality.
The highly anticipated event took place at the iconic Uhuru Gardens on Saturday, June 10, 2023.
As early as 3 pm, it was evident that the evening would be filled with top-tier music and an atmosphere to remember. By 4 pm, eager attendees began streaming in, and the organizational prowess at the entrance was truly impressive.
Unlike other events that often suffer from long queues and ticket-related issues causing frustration, this festival demonstrated the importance of meticulous planning.
Security measures were tight, ensuring a safe environment for everyone, and individuals were promptly directed to their designated areas. The crowd exuded maturity, evident from their refined sense of style, suggesting a segment of the population with considerable disposable income.
Upon entering, the seating areas were well-defined, with the VVIP section expertly arranged. Positioned right next to the stage, it boasted luxurious blue cushions and a matching carpet, creating an inviting ambience.
The VIP and regular sections were equally impressive, and as more people arrived, the energy in the air began to intensify.
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Following a series of DJ mixes that ignited the crowd's enthusiasm, it was time to commence the main event.
Renowned radio host Maina Kageni, serving as the evening's MC, perfectly embodied the role. He was an ideal choice for this event and flawlessly fulfilled his duties. Introducing the first act of the night, Kenya's very own Sauti Sol, he set the stage for an unforgettable experience.
Dressed in sleek black attire, Sauti Sol took the stage and immediately captured the audience's attention with their performance of "Extravaganza," provoking an ecstatic response from the crowd.
There was an inexplicable connection between Sauti Sol and the audience, as their music resonated deeply within everyone's soul. They continued their captivating set with "Isabella" and "Melanin," then elevated the excitement with the electrifying "Nishike."
The crowd's fervour reached crazy heights during their performance of "Suzanna" that they were called back for an encore. This undeniable love and adoration showcased the band's enduring popularity.
After delivering over an hour of extraordinary Kenyan music, the moment arrived for the headline act of the day—Boyz II Men took the stage! Nathan Morris, joined by tenors Wanyá Morris and Shawn Stockman, donned white outfits, ready to fulfil their mission.
They started off with Motownphilly, a song they recorded as teenagers then followed it up with the much-loved "On Bended Knee."
The Kenyan audience embarked on a lyrical expedition, singing word for word (regardless of the key). The atmosphere was electric though a minor sound issue momentarily hindered those in the regular section from fully experiencing the fun.
As expected, they expressed their discontent. The organizers swiftly resolved the matter, restoring the vibrant mood. Boyz II Men continued to dazzle, delivering one hit after another.
They mesmerized the crowd with a soulful rendition of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," hands raised high, led by Wanya. Nathan skillfully played the bass guitar, and Shawn took the lead as they performed their rendition of Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven."
The audience unquestionably received exceptional value for their money.
After a few more soul-stirring songs, the boys emerged, holding roses and graciously gifting them to a lucky few in the VVIP section, serenading them with "I'll Make Love to You." Their final song, "End of the Road".
Over an hour of well-done songs, perfect harmonies and well-rehearsed transitions. The night was over. The boys had delivered.