ALL GROWN UP, A HIGH ENERGY FORMER “BOY BAND” BRINGS ITS HOLIDAY SHOW TO NJ
BY JON DOMENICK
From 2009 to 2015, singer Nick Lachey a former member of the multi platinum boy band 98 Degrees spent his Decembers hosting the NBC a cappella ensemble competition show, e Sing O , which was a launch pad for the careers of vocal phenoms Pentatonix, among other performers. It’s fair to say, however, that the 44 year old son of Harlan, Kentucky never lost an affection for his roots. So, last year, he and his 98 Degrees partners embarked on their first Christmas tour in support of the album, Let it Snow. It will continue over the course of 30 concerts this season, two of them at local venues. The show’s spirited mix includes group hits and holiday classics, along with festive costume changes.
Band members, all with Cincinnati, Ohio roots (Lachey’s family moved to Ohio when he was young), include brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Je re, and Je Timmons, who formed what would become 98 Degrees in 1995. To gain attention, they journeyed to talent shows and auditions. They also took odd jobs, including Drew Lachey’s stint as an ambulance driver and his brother’s gig (with Je re) as part of a barbershop quartet at an amusement park. e boys signed with Motown Records two years later, recognized for their R&B leanings and original material, in sharp contrast to other boy band acts of the era.
98 Degrees went on to sell over 10 million records and chart eight Top 40 singles, including “Because of You,” “I Do,” “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche),” and “The Way You Want Me To.”
Let it Snow garnered positive reviews for accenting the group’s signature four part harmonies. In addition to the new song “Seasons of Love,” it included a take on the Beach Boys’ classic “Little Saint Nick,” and fueled appearances at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Disney’s Magic Holiday Celebration, and on a number of TV shows.
The Christmas tour has two New Jersey stops the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and the Music Box at the Borgata in Atlantic City, on December 7 and 15, respectively. Meet and greet packages can include a champagne backstage toast, individual photo opportunities, personalized sound check performances, and autographed merchandise, including a commemorative holiday ornament.