When 98 Degrees reformed to tour with Boyz II Men and and New Kids on the Block, they didn’t know what to expect.
The response was rabid and the quartet—brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, as well as Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons—knew it was the right time to continue its career.
“We’ve been really lucky,” Timmons says. “We didn’t know what to expect, but we’re growing and getting better and better. The crowds are excited and more rambunctious than ever. We’re having a blast.”
98 Degrees will return to the Valley to play Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino on Saturday, December 7.
“We’re having a really good time,” Timmons says. “We’re doing a mix of casinos and theaters and performing arts centers. We all have families and we do the stuff on the weekends at casinos. We’re really fortunate. We did Mohegan Sun (in Uncasville, Connecticut) last weekend and there were 7,000 people there. It was a beautiful room with great energy, lighting and sound. It’s a sweet spot for us.”
At the shows, 98 Degrees is playing “what people are expecting,” Timmons says. That includes songs from their most prolific period in the late-1990s and early 2000s.
“It’s a tribute to that era,” he says. “We’re doing a few covers. We get people up out of their seats and having a good time.”
During 98 Degrees’ break, each one of the men had their own projects. Timmons began working with TV production, creating a music competition show that’s going to start soon.
He’s also helping two young artists—Nicole Michelle and a boy band tribute act, Overnight.
“They’re really great, young talented artists,” he says. “I was hesitant about being a quasi-manager or doing a production deal with an artist. But I know how hard it is. I certainly don’t want to take away people’s opportunities.
“They’re so talented and I’m happy and proud to put their names on my projects. We’ve had 25 years of experience in the business now and it’s rewarding to help performers avoid the pitfalls or downsides I had to encounter. I want them to be recognized for their talents.”
Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Boulevard Chandler, playatgila.com, 8 p.m. Saturday, December 7, $40-$85.