- Ginny McCabe, Contributing Writer
Brothers Nick Lachey and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons — known as 98 Degrees — will bring the “98 Degrees at Christmas 2018” to Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center on Saturday, Nov. 24. at 8 p.m. Tickets for the concert start at $39.50 and can be purchased at www.cincinnatiarts.org.
As part of a 36-city tour that kicked off Nov. 1 in Winnipeg, the ’90s pop sensation will bring a mix of Christmas tunes from their holiday-themed albums, combined with some of the group’s best-loved hits such as “Because of You,” “I Do (Cherish You),” and “The Hardest Thing.” We had a recent conversation with Timmons, who filled us in on the tour and shared more about what fans can expect from the evening.
Q: Tell us about the tour and how it’s going so far?
A: So far, so good. We had a great response last year. This year, the first several shows were sold out, and it’s been great as far as the turnout. People are getting acclimated, understanding what this show is all about. Fans are excited to see us and we’re excited to be out there.
Q: How do you feel like this year’s Christmas tour compares to the holiday concert last year?
A: The tone of the show is the same. It’s family-friendly. We cover Christmas songs from both albums, last year’s Let It Snow, and then the 1999 release, 98 Degrees, This Christmas. We’ve added some other songs, and we add some humor as well.
Q: “Season Of Love” is a new, original song from Let It Snow. The song has a lot of your signature harmonies. Can you tell us about the song?
A: “Season Of Love” is a great song, and we’re really proud of it. We wrote it with the guys that have produced the majority of our Christmas albums. We wanted to do something new and fresh, but also incorporate the harmonies, so we did a Christmas song, hoping that it would translate into something new, and perhaps, annually be out there and get some airplay, and that’s just what it’s done. It’s worked out well for us and people are familiar with the song. Last year, it was in the Top 5 on the Christmas charts, which was amazing. We think it adds a fresh take on what 98 Degrees is all about.
Q: What are you enjoying about the tour so far?
A: We’re having more fun than ever, which is really interesting. Back in the day, we had a lot of intense pressure, and a lot of competition, and we didn’t have other things going on with regards to our career, and our families, and all that stuff. So now, we’re having a blast with each other, and as long as we’re able to enjoy ourselves on the road, we’re going to continue to do it.
Q: Coming back to Ohio is a bit of a homecoming. All four members of the group have Ohio roots. What will that be like?
A: Most of my family migrated to California, but the rest of the guys are from Cincinnati and we always have a tremendous turnout there. Certainly, I consider Cincinnati as one of my hometowns as well, having been there so many times, and been with the guys, and done things for The School for Creative & Performing Arts (SCPA). We’ve always had an overwhelming amount of support from that area, so I’m honored to come back. It’s always a feel-good, high-energy night for us there and the support we receive there is unmatched by, I think, any other city in the country, so I’m super excited about being back in Cincinnati.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans in Cincinnati?
A: I just want to thank them for years of loyalty, allowing us to live the dream, and being there so many years later with so much enthusiasm. I can’t describe what it means to us to see them out in the audience, and their support. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.