O-Town, Ryan Cabrera and Dream served as their special musical guests. 98 Degrees opened their set with “Heat It Up,” as red and blue laser lights dimmed from the stage. It was followed by the mid-tempo yet sultry “Do You Wanna Dance?” where a video of the group members displayed in the background.
Justin Jeffre gave a shout out to his fans on Long Island when they performed a cover of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” which was neat to see Nick Lachey rap.
They continued with “The Way You Want Me To,” which featured their velvet harmonies. “Let me see your hands up in the air,” Nick Lachey told the Westbury audience.
“What’s going on Long Island?” Drew Lachey asked. “Welcome to My2K tour,” he added, and noted that this show feels like “homecoming” for them, especially since their fans have showed them so much love all these years.
They took their fans on a trip down memory lane to 1997 with their first single “Invisible Man,” where Nick Lachey and Jeff Timmons nailed the co-lead vocals and falsettos, while Justin and Drew provided strong harmonies.
Equally tender and bittersweet was “The Hardest Thing,” where yellow lights graced the stage, as their song’s music video displayed in the televised screen in the background. “That song takes me straight to 1999,” Nick Lachey said, at a time when Limp Bizkit, Lauryn Hill and Eminem had big hits.
They brought their fans back to their TRL days by singing several of the most popular songs from that era, including LFO’s “Summer Girls” and “Sugar Ray’s “Fly.”
“I Want It That Way” resonated well with all of the Backstreet Boys fans in the house, especially when Nick and Jeff nailed the lead vocals, and Drew gave the closing lyric a killer ending.
They were nonchalant and acted a little goofy on the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” and Drew shared that “you haven’t made it until people make fun of you in their music videos,” thus implying Blink-182, and they delivered their own distinct version of “All The Small Things.”
“You guys aren’t ready for this,” Nick told the crowd, as they sang Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time,” and they closed their medley set with N’ Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye,” where they got their dance moves to the tee. “That took a lot out of all of us,” Lachey said, and he took a sip of water.
He went on to sing his smash hit as a solo artist, “What’s Left of Me,” where he took his fans back to 2006. He delivered a dynamic vocal performance that was both heartfelt and expressive. Every girl in the venue went crazy when Lachey literally got down on his knees and sang the last verse of “What’s Left of Me” that began as follows: “cause I’m down on my knees.”
They tipped their hats to the late but great Prince by singing “Let’s Go Crazy” and “1999,” where they were joined by fellow openers O-Town and Dream.
98 Degrees picked up with pace with the upbeat and fun “Microphone,” and they showcased their honey-rich vocals on “My Everything.”
They serenaded a lucky female fan to their love balad “I Do (Cherish You),” and closed on an upbeat note with “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche),” both of which were well-received, to the point where the Grammy-nominated pop group returned for an encore with “Because of You.”
Overall, 98 Degrees were able to bring a great deal of nostalgia to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, with their classic hits and impressive cover songs. It is evident that Nick, Jeff, Drew and Justin were born to entertain. They were able to command the stage well, and they had the New York audience in the palm of their hands. Their set garnered five out of five stars.