By Virginia Still
Although there are many people that may not be ready for Christmas and don’t even want to think about it yet, the holidays are nonetheless approaching at a rapid pace, and an evening out may just help ease you into the holiday frame of mind.
Bringing the Christmas spirit to the 209 in November with their vocal blend and harmonies, 98 Degrees are sure to get concertgoers ready for the holidays with a performance at the Gallo Center for the Arts on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
The four member harmony group includes Jeff Timmons, Justin Jeffre and Nick and Drew Lachey. Their career began in the late ‘90s and soared into the 2000s with 10 million records sold and chart-topping singles like “Thank God I Found You,” “True to Your Heart,” and fan favorites “Because of You,” “I Do,” and “The Hardest Thing.”
“While we have always prided ourselves in trying to make timeless music regardless of the content of what the album is, there is a timelessness of Christmas music that I think everybody can appreciate,” explained Drew Lachey. “Everybody always asks, are you going to perform the hits, and yes, we are going to perform those as well. I think everybody kind of expects to hear those. But they are sprinkled in a bigger show.”
The guys released “Let It Snow,” in October of 2017 that features an original song “Season of Love,” along with Christmas classics like “The First Noel,” “Mary, Did You Know?,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
This is their second Christmas album in 18 years and features the quartet’s signature R&B vibe. To celebrate the album the group will begin the Christmas tour in November and it will wrap a few days before Christmas.
“I feel like with our music and with the entertainment value that we put into our tour and pride ourselves on, I think we made new fans on that last tour,” added Drew about their 2017 Christmas tour.
Although they all have their own individual careers and various projects, the foursome has managed to strengthen their friendships, appreciate each other and continue to have fun through the years.
“We are very fortunate while we did take time off, I think that time actually gave us more of an appreciation for each other as musicians and artists and as friends,” expressed Drew. “So when we did come back together I think there was even a higher level of respect and appreciation than when we were together in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. For the most part we are getting along better than ever and having more fun than we have ever had.”
Drew not only won season two of Dancing with the Stars but has spent some time on Broadway as well as had a few hosting jobs, all of which has helped him be more comfortable and confident as a performer.
Nick competed on Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars, has starred in TV shows, hosted television shows, and has released a couple solo records.
Timmons has spent his time writing songs and producing while Jeffre has gotten involved in politics.
“I think for us the thing that has allowed us the flexibility of sticking around and the opportunity to still make music is that we pride ourselves in always putting out a great product,” stated Drew. “Our harmonies are always going to be right there in the forefront and I feel like we can do something pretty special and unique with our blend and our sounds.”
Remembering Christmas time with his family growing up, which included midnight mass, good food and hanging out, Drew shared that it was always a special time of year.
“I think that is a big part of why we are so drawn to making Christmas albums, because we go back and think about the music we listened to growing up and the music that was on in our household,” he said. “It kind of transports you back to that time which is what we hope our music does for people and for families and generations to come.”
98 Degrees will get the 209 in the Christmas spirit when their tour stops in Modesto at the Gallo.
“It is more of a theatrical experience where we try to take the audience on a journey as opposed to just playing song after song after song,” explained Drew about what concertgoers can expect at the show. “We try and incorporate a lot of different styles musically. We are super excited to get back there (Modesto) to bring the 2018 98 Degrees Christmas tour to them and hopefully they all come out and we are able to celebrate the holidays together.”