August 18, 2016


98 Degrees and Smiling: The My2K Tour Hints at a 2000s Revival

Tony Schock/ GS Memorymaker
Tony Schock/ GS Memorymaker

Yes, the '90s are back in a big way (see: Fuller House, Pokémon Go, Crystal Pepsi and The Clintons), but are we already ready for the '00s to make a comeback? After a show like the My2K Tour—which brought together boy band staples 98 Degrees and O-Town, girl group Dream, and singer-songwriter Ryan Cabrera—we'd argue we're just about there.

At the Brooklyn stop of the tour at Coney Island's outdoor Ford Amphitheater on Wednesday night (Aug. 17), Dream opened the show with an early set that suffered a bit from it still being daylight, but the "This Is Me" singers still delighted with their handful of hits and some deep cuts. "We don't wear as much glitter as we used to, but we still wear a little," the group told the audience with a laugh, before ending their set with their first new song in years, "I Believe," and then their breakout hit, "He Loves U Not."

O-Town was welcomed with humongous screams as they delivered singles like "Liquid Dreams" and "These Are the Days," along with mashups of Maroon 5, The Weeknd, and Kanye West tunes. The guys looked more like a jam band onstage than a boy band, but they brought the classic melodrama for their set-closing hit "All or Nothing."

At the halfway point, what becomes pretty obvious is that the groups aren't delivering the same choreography and vocals you remembered them bringing in 2000... but was that really the reason anyone bought a ticket to this show? It was more about the undeniable songs and re-creating the spectacle of a time period when the music industry was at its wealthiest and pop's aesthetic was squeaky-clean. The My2K tour was remarkable for how many songs you provoked instant recognition, and the audience rode the nostalgia wave without hesitation.

Ryan Cabrera changed up the mood a little bit by representing the harmless singer-songwriters that took over that era. Alone onstage with his guitar, he brought singles like "True" and "40 Kinds of Sadness" back to life before delivering nostalgic mashups of Goo Goo Dolls and Will Smith songs. He ended with his breakout single "On the Way Down," before introducing headliners 98 Degrees with the adorably cheesy line, "It's not hot's going to get to 96, 97 degrees...," which felt very much like something we'd hear on the 2000 TRL Tour.

To a roaring audience, 98 Degrees came out and went full turn-of-the-century teenybopper on us with baggy, camouflage pants and black vests. With choreography more or less in-sync (think a lot of step and snaps), the foursome went all-in on an attempt to recapture a lost era. Moving through their hit ballads ('97's "Invisible Man," '99s' "The Hardest Thing") reminded fans the band initially broke out as a vocal-focused act, while bringing a 2000 banger like "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)" was fun for all. 

The guys even brought a medley of '90s and '00s hits—with accompanying vintage footage from TRL playing in the background—as they sang songs by Sugar Ray, Blink-182, *NSYNC and even brought out members of LFO for "Summer Girls." Given the shrieks elicited from the boy-band collaboration that only lasted a few minutes, the world is ready for Y2K mania all over again. When can we expect the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? reboot and Eiffel 65 resurgence?

Keep the nostalgia going with this classic interview with 98 Degrees when the guys stopped by the Fuse offices: