At one point during the launch party for the My2K Tour -- an upcoming venture from four of the biggest pop acts of the late-‘90s and early-‘00s -- Ryan Cabrera said, “This tour is all about singing along, so don’t be afraid!”
He’s right — the tour is fueled by a tidal wave of nostalgia with a murderer’s row of stars whose posters once adorned your walls and whose videos once topped the TRL countdown: singer-songwriter Cabrera, girl group sensation Dream, early-aughts boy band O-Town, and heavyweight headliners 98 Degrees.
Before they hit the road together in July, all four acts gathered in L.A. on Tuesday night to feast on a spread of Ring-Pops and Pop Rocks, take silly photo booth pics, treat the intimate crowd to live performances of their biggest hits, and tease what’s in store this summer. Here’s what you can expect from each act:
The “He Loves U Not” singers unfortunately opted out of a performance because Diana Ortiz was out of town for a family event (she’ll be joining the group on tour though). The three other members did, however, reveal they’re working on new music that will sound “different” but still be “true to Dream.”
They also reminisced about touring with 98 Degrees back in the day, when they were teens who couldn’t participate in the, uh, festivities of being a famous band on the road. “This time around it’s going to be quite different,” they said, after teasing they definitely have some dirt on the 98 Degrees guys. “Now they’re probably going to have some stories about us!” Sure, some of the girls are moms now, but that doesn’t mean they can’t party a little too, right?!
Making the Band alums O-Town -- who reunited in 2013 as a quartet, sans Ashley Parker Angel -- hit the stage to perform a trio of hits, including “All or Nothing” and “We Fit Together” (the latter song was proudly introduced by Erik-Michael Estrada as, “This video got retired on TRL, no big deal.”).
The guys also reminisced about their 2000 hit “Liquid Dreams,” which describes their ideal woman as a mix of Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson, Halle Berry, and more celebs. Asked if they would add anyone to a 2016 version of the song, Trevor Penick said, “The weird thing is that J.Lo was on the original one, but she’d still be on this one! Beyoncé’s still hot. Madonna would still work. Madonna will always work. You drop Madonna in a song, you win. Period.”
Ryan’s going back to basics this time around. “It’s just me and a guitar,” he said about his setup for the tour. “I think it’s a good way to do it. I want to kick it back like how I started and kinda go grassroots on it.”
Before launching into his hit “On the Way Down” and then covering a snippet of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” Ryan also explained why he’s so excited to be hitting the road. “This tour is going to be fun because we’re all friends. I think that’s a beautiful thing about making music together and being onstage together, is that everybody on this tour actually likes each other.”
Ending the evening on the ~hottest~ of notes, 98 Degrees -- brothers Drew and Nick Lachey, Justin Jeffre, and Jeff Timmons -- hopped onstage to perform “Invisible Man,” “The Hardest Thing,” and “Because of You.” And before you can ask, the answer is yes, their harmonies are still heavenly and their ability to make the crowd weak at the knees is still strong as ever. Charm doesn’t age, y’all.
“We are incredibly excited to be part of this tour, and big shout-out to Ryan, to Dream, to O-Town for joining us on this fantastic journey back to 2000 or thereabouts,” Nick said, adding that it was “a fond time in our career and our lives, and we can’t wait to relive it with people all across the country.”