Boyz II Men perform with the San Diego Symphony at Rady Shell

Boyz II Men rolled into San Diego’s Rady Shell in Jacobs Park on June 26th, 2022. The Rady Shell opened the summer of 2021; you absolutely cannot miss this gorgeous architecture on the edge of San Diego Bay near Seaport Village! San Diego is beautiful with many historic wonders, the Coronado Bridge, the Midway, Top Gun movie scene landmarks… and now, The Rady Shell.

If you are attending a show at The Rady Shell, be prepared to leave early for traffic and parking, especially if there’s an event at Petco Park. As you start down the boardwalk toward the venue, you will forget about all of that — when the summer vibes kick in. People enjoying Jacobs Park, the breeze off the water and you’re about to see an amazing show!

If you follow us (Heather and Kaiya), you know we are usually at a metal or punk rock show. But, we appreciate different genres of music, as well. Boy II Men are iconic and to see them at The Rady Shell with the San Diego Symphony was absolutely amazing. We are used to some screaming and hype to get a show started, so we missed the first song looking at tour shirts.

We quickly found our table and sat in awe looking at The Rady Shell, with beautiful lights and the sun setting behind it. 

After the first couple of songs, Shawn Stockman said, “Make a memory here. Take a minute and meet the people around you, maybe you create a lifelong friendship here.” We introduced ourselves to the couple at our table. We had a great time with the folks around us. One thing I really love about shows like this is ‘story time’: the artists stop in between songs and tell a story, maybe a tour story or how a song was written, a little insight into the band.

Wanya Morris is a great storyteller, complete with impersonations — especially Nate’s deep voice. He told the story about collaborating on the album Collide: Nate wanted to do something different, “maybe, we should learn to play instruments or something”. Wanya said he wasn’t learning a new instrument, “this was his instrument” (pointing to his throat). Everyone cheered. Shawn did learn to play the guitar watching YouTube videos, though. He showed off his skills doing a ‘solo’ with the San Diego Symphony and played Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”. 

One of their more popular songs, “I’ll Make Love to You”, had the ladies screaming.

Shawn, Nate and Wanya each had a huge bouquet of red roses. When the ladies saw they were giving them out, they went rushing to the stage. One at a time, the roses were handed to someone special in the crowd, until they were gone at the end of the song. I was waiting for Chris Harrison from The Bachelor to pop out any minute and say, “ Ladies, this is the final rose of the night.”

They played a few covers like “Open Arms” by Journey, a song by Babyface and “Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” from the Cooley High movie. Surprised? Me too! I thought it was a Boyz II Men original song. 

Introducing the next song, Shawn said, “You should know this next song and if you don’t know it, welcome to Earth.” The song was one of their most popular songs, “Water Runs Dry”. We also got to hear “Bended Knee” and they closed out this amazing night with an encore “End of the Road”.  Boyz II Men will be on tour all summer, so catch them in your town! 

Photography by Heather Vandemark

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