98 degrees   let it snow press photo by elias tahan xyreyr

98 Degrees comes to the Van Wezel for its Christmas tour this year. From left: Jeff Timmons, Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey and Justin Jeffre.

Image: Elias Tahan

The Sarasota forecast for Monday, Dec. 11, calls for sunny skies, a gentle breeze and plenty of heat, with temperatures spiking thanks to the arrival of none other than 98 Degrees. The boy band, whose popularity peaked in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is coming to town to support its new Christmas album, Let it Snow, its second album of Christmas material. This Christmas came out in 1999.

98 Degrees' Drew Lachey tells Sarasota Magazine that the tour will be a theatrical performance, as well as a journey through different genres. Some of his favorite song variations include "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys and "River" by Joni Mitchell. "This tour truly has something for everyone," he says.

And now that all four men are fathers, they've made a conscious choice to appeal to children in the audience with their song choices, too. "The songs have a more up-tempo feel," says Lachey, whose fondest Christmas memories revolve around his children. "There is no greater feeling than seeing the kids come down the stairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought them," he says. "Watching their faces light up is what it's all about."

And his work with kids doesn't end on Christmas. When Lachey is not on tour, he and his wife run a nonprofit summer camp for the performing arts in Cincinnati, Ohio. The camp focuses on musical theater for young adults, ages 12-19. Lachey brings in performers from all over the world in order to train the campers and help boost their confidence.

Audiences can expect the 98 Degrees show to be polished,  featuring lush melodies and harmonies. In two decades of performing together with his bandmates, Lachey has learned some valuable lessons. "Live in the moment," he says. "Don't take things for granted. You never know if the opportunity is going to come again."

98 Degrees will perform at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11. Tickets can be purchased here.

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