O-Town reunited just to see what would happen

Some bands get tired of the songs that made them famous. That’s not the case for O-Town.
For the last six years, the band — whose tour hits City Winery on Thursday — has opened and closed nearly every concert with their two biggest hits, “Liquid Dreams” and “All or Nothing.” Whenever they tried to switch things up, it didn’t feel right.

“Songs like ‘All or Nothing,’ we are indebted to and so grateful. It’s a reason that people have put us on concert bills,” singer Jacob Underwood said in a recent phone interview. “Fans like the new stuff and they’re excited to keep hearing new music from us … but when we end the show with ‘All or Nothing,’ that’s obviously the biggest response of the night.”

If seeing that title sparks an immediate memory of belting out the power ballad in your car (“Cause I want it all! Or NOTHING at ALL …”), then you were probably a teenager around 2000, when O-Town arrived on ABC’s “Making the Band,” one of the earliest reality TV shows.

MTV, which produced the series, assumed that young viewers were still craving boy bands. And they were correct! The show, which assembled the new band (Underwood, Erik-Michael Estrada, Trevor Penick, Dan Miller and Ashley Parker Angel) and then chronicled their adventures trying to “make it,” was an immediate hit, and the group’s self-titled debut album went platinum.

Alas, the excitement around a new boy band doesn’t last forever. After a wildly successful start, sales fizzled and the group disbanded a few years later. However, they all kept in touch, and often talked about reuniting. In 2013, they pulled the trigger.

“It got to the point, at the 10 years mark, where everybody was going, ‘We need to do this … we talk about it every year,’” Underwood said. Angel declined to join the reunion, but the other four members were in.

The members of O-Town are also often asked about Angel, who opted out of the reunion. But Underwood said they have been touring for so long in their new iteration — longer than they were together the first time — it almost wouldn’t make sense.

“It would be weird to have him in the band now, we’ve worked in such a unique way over the last six years,” Underwood said. “Of course we still have a soft place in our heart for him.”

In the meantime, the band is grateful for its unique place in pop culture, existing in the rare Venn diagram of 2000s boy bands and 2000s reality TV. “Really, our career has kind of been in reverse: We started big, then were playing nightclubs and worked our way back up.”

[Edited from Source]

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