KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
WITH Boyz II Men no longer a dominant force, the jury seems to be out on whether the K1,500 that is being charged for VIP tickets at their September 23 show at Lusaka Polo Club is worth it.
Make no mistake, this is Zambia, and knowing how things work, there will be a good number of people trooping to the Polo Club for the show and eager to post those selfies online for the world to know that they were there.
But there are others who are putting their foot down and will not be anywhere near the Stanbic Music Concert.
Media trainer and music critic Edem Djokotoe is one of them.
“I’ve got a calculator in my hand trying to work out how many pockets of cement a cat can get from the cost of a VIP ticket to see the remains of Boyz II Men,” Edem posted on the Stanbic Music Festival Facebook page a few weeks ago.
“…Aikona wena. Why should tickets cost that much? I have been to concerts with big acts in serious venues and I didn’t have to pay half that! No disrespect intended but this isn’t their heyday so what’s the word on this kind of cost?”
But some like Graham Kintu think US$150 (VIP) and US$50 (Standard) to see Boyz II Men is very acceptable.
“This is the range world over,” he replied.
Both sides may have a point; after selling millions of albums and commanding attention as one of the dominant R’n’B groups in the late 80s and 90s under the famous Motown Records, Boyz II Men is no longer the dominant force.
But since 2004, the group, which was formed in 1988, has been having what you would call a second career after losing bass vocalist Michael McCrary.
Now a trio, the group has got back to recording and touring having signed with Universal Records. They also got a residency in Las Vegas in 2013 which gave them a chance to generate a new fan base.
Today, they are able to headline shows in casinos and theatres.
And recently, the trio, Shawn Stockman, Nathan Morris and Wanya Morris, had a street named after them in Philadelphia, where it all began more than two decades ago.
But, it is at the Stanbic Music Festival where the jury is still out on them.
The jury is on the voices.