Jenny McCarthy in audience at hubby Donnie Wahlberg’s NKOTB concert

Jenny McCarthy in audience at hubby Donnie Wahlberg’s NKOTB concert

Donnie Wahlberg: what a guy.

No wonder he landed bombshell Jenny McCarthy.

His band New Kids on the Block played Hard Rock Live on Sunday night as they wrapped their Total Package tour with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men, and McCarthy was in the audience.

A love letter to my husband, Donnie Wahlberg, For the past three months I have watched you pour out your heart and soul. I have seen you give hundreds, if not thousands, of hugs. I’ve seen you make every person you came into contact with feel like they were somebody special, because you do believe they are special. You have entertained all of us. You have tipped hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to hardworking people in Waffle Houses across the country. I’ve seen you get on a plane to work at Blue Bloods all day, only to get on an airplane that very same day to go perform your heart out at your concerts. Back on a plane then again…and repeat. I’ve seen you do all this all while making sure your fans felt appreciated. That our sons felt loved. And that your adoring wife felt cherished. Moments I will never forget; Holding a disabled woman in your arms so she can dance with you. Paying for funerals for fans who left us too soon. Giving the shoes off your feet, the coat off your back, and the hat off your head to those whose lives changed because you did. I’ve seen you give people jobs, lead with mindfulness, stay present while those around you slept, (myself included). And I watched you do this with a smile on your face, and with unconditional love in your heart, with no sleep in your tired bones. Never in my life have I met anyone who has gone out of their way physically, emotionally, spiritually and lovingly for the sake of others. I don’t know anyone like you. And I never will. I just know how lucky I am to have you. I love you, Mrs. W  ❤️

To say that these two are still in the honeymoon phase after almost three years of marriage would be an understatement.The former “Singled Out” personality has the “Blue Bloods” star’s back.She posted on Instagram a lengthy love letter with a pic of him serenading her from the stage.

“For the past three months [of the tour] I have watched you pour out your heart and soul. I have seen you give hundreds, if not thousands, of hugs. I’ve seen you make every person you came into contact with feel like they were somebody special, because you do believe they are special.”

To those who joined us on this epic journey – Look back lovingly. Look forward hopefully. Stay present constantly. #TotalPackageTour ❤️

He thanked her for sharing: “Your support means everything to me, Lady. You make me better in every way.”

Wahlberg got some beef recently after publicizing the fact that he liked to compensate the late night staff at Waffle House.

My mom waited tables, and my dad tended bars– for years! So, when I walk into a #WaffleHouse, and the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens! Thanks to the team at @wafflehouseofficial Charlotte, NC! ❤️

Naysayers commented that if you really want to do nice stuff for people the whole world doesn’t need to hear about it.

The Total Package Tour Featuring New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men Lives Up to Its Billing @NKOTB #NKOTBPERU

The Total Package Tour Featuring New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men Lives Up to Its Billing

Posted By  on Sat, Jul 1, 2017 at 12:31 pm


Like youth itself rising from the ashes, New Kids on the Block, who brought their Total Package Tour to Quicken Loans last night, rose from the bowels of the arena stage at the start of the concert, shrouded in a smoke-machine induced haze.

You can see a slideshow of photos from the concert here.

They started off the set with “One More Night,” which segued into “My Favorite Girl,” and then they quickly delivered the goods with “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” a track they punctuated with pelvic thrusting. They also knew how to pander to the crowd; Donnie Wahlberg changed the song’s lyrics to “All that I wanted was Cleveland…and all that I needed was Ohio.”

The boyband then launched into “Remix (I Like The),” which further engaged the crowd and got the room pumped up to peak levels. Up next was “Block Party,” a tune which came complete with a rapping Donnie. The guys spent most of the night on the stage extension, a winding maze that extended through a portion of the crowd. Suddenly, Donnie was on his back being lifted through the crowd as he rapped. At this point, all members broke off into the crowd, quite literally mounting themselves onto their fans as they sang “Tonight,” climbing through aisles and serenading fans while taking selfies. Joey was even spotted holding someone’s baby.

The men made their way to the back of the arena, where there was a small stage. This is when they slipped on silky matching Members Only jackets to sweetly sing “Summertime.” Then, it was back over to the main stage for “Cover Girl.” Donnie climbed on top of a piano, and then the piano was on fire. He lifted his black tank top to showcase his chest and stomach, huffing and puffing his way through the track as flames soared around him. The crowd went bonkers.

Donnie screamed, “It’s Friday night in Believeland; that means we’re gonna party all night!” The band continued with “The Whisper,” and then went backstage for a costume change. But the crowd didn’t have to miss them when they were gone because there was a camera on them as they changed. They stripped and hammed it up, and Donnie even made out with the camera. It was equal parts mortifying and sensational.

NKOTB delivered a relentless manic spectacle of abdominal muscles and piercing falsettos, and the set even featured mounds and mounds of falling confetti and five men singing songs they used to sing as a children. Donnie was clearly the personality of the crew. Jordan and Joey provided the eye candy with the true vocal talent. Danny came off as a pocket-sized body builder with a smile for miles.

NKOTB’s energy level never wavered once. At one point, Joey seemed in danger of spinning himself off into orbit as he furiously twirled like some sort of human/Tasmanian devil hybrid. The guys brought one fan on stage to sing her happy birthday and they group hugged her. They even made it snow as they performed their Christmas songs “Peace to the World” and “This One’s for the Children.” Donnie told the crowd, “It’s ok, you can make up the words.”

They then went full nostalgia by filling the screens with their album cover photos from the ’80s. Joey’s shining moment arrived when he performed the 1988 hit “Please Don’t Go Girl” from the stage at the back of the arena, singing his heart out on his knees, proving he still has what it takes to be an international pop superstar. The packed arena was freefalling back through time.

They kept it retro with “Step By Step,” and Jordan announced, “We have been coming to Cleveland for 29 years. Thank you so much. We will be loving you forever.” This led into Jordan’s big solo “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever).” They closed the night with “Hangin’ Tough.”

Paula Abdul performed all of her hits, reminding the crowd that she hasn’t toured in 27 years. But no one would’ve guessed because she sounded as polished as ever, a sequined dance expert with Pantene hair and tiny legs of steel. Her wow moment was during “Straight Up” when she climbed a ladder and dove off the top, perfectly landing onto the arms of her dancers. She engaged with fans as she told stories of her climb to fame, inspiring the crowd to always believe in themselves, “because life is short and so am I!”

Boyz II Men came off as the lullaby dreamboats they always have been, beautifully delivering tracks like “End of the Road” and “I’ll Make Love to You” during their opening set.

New Kids on the Block Show Off Ripped Dad Bods, Highlight Longtime Fans and Family in New ‘Thankful’



New Kids on the Block continue to redefine the term “dad bod.”

The guys show off their ripped abs in a behind-the-scenes-themed music video for their latest single, “Thankful.” Through black and white footage, NKOTB takes viewers through a day in the life on the road from waking up on the bus to hitting the gym, meeting with fans, squeezing in some quality time with their family, and performing.

The sentimental video also adorably highlights some of the most loyal NKOTB fans, showing off vintage ticket stubs and photos from the band’s early success in the ’80s and ’90s.

Thankful (Official Video) by New Kids On The Block on VEVO.

WATCH: New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre Goes to Prom and Adorably Shares His First Dance With a Starstruck Fan 

Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jonathan Knight and Jordan Knight are currently in the midst of their Total Package Tour alongside Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men. ET caught up with the group last month as they prepared to kick off their cross-country trek.

See what they had to say about tour pranks and being a part of Abdul’s musical comeback, below.


New Kids on the Block bump and grind their way through campy, fun show at the X


New Kids on the Block perform during their show at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

New Kids on the Block perform during their show at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)
June 14, 2017 at 11:23 pm

Nearly a decade into their reunion, the New Kids on the Block proved yet again they’ve got the right stuff during a breezy, high-energy tour stop Wednesday night at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.

The five guys from Boston have managed to turn three years’ worth of hits, barely enough to fill Side 1 of a cassette, into a mini-industry with tours, cruises, merchandise and even not-that-bad new albums. For just under two hours, they kept the crowd of about 11,000 entertained and titillated, with enough bumping and grinding to break hips.

They’re all in their late 40s, save for 44-year-old baby of the group Joey McIntyre, and rock some serious bodies. Think “Jurassic World” Chris Pratt, not “Parks and Recreation” Chris Pratt.

And they’re not afraid to show them off, to the point that a staple of NKOTB concerts is the mid-show costume change that’s broadcast live to the crowd via the “quickchange cam.” (Donny Wahlberg used the opportunity to show off a “Purple Rain”-era Prince T-shirt while gamely attempting a Purple One-style shimmy.)

It helps that the New Kids have hired a killer backing band that managed to extract the fun and funk out of even their most anemic songs. And the staging gives plenty of face time for Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and McIntyre, each of whom claim distinct camps of NKOTB fandom to this day. That did leave spray-tanned WWE heel contender Danny Wood and the shy, gay Jonathan Knight mostly in the shadows, but that’s showbiz.

Huge, thumping party songs dominated the first half of the show, with post-reunion new tracks “Remix (I Like The),” “The Whisper” and “Summertime” all keeping the crowd cheering. They opened with their brand-new single “One More Night,” a modern disco number that comes across as a less-irritating Maroon 5. Incorporating bits of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” at the end only sweetened the deal.

The campiest moment in a night full of them occurred during an amped-up take on 1989’s “Cover Girl” that saw Wahlberg leap on top of a flaming piano, yank up his black tank top and reveal a set of chiseled abs that I imagine he doesn’t show off much while starring on CBS’ “Blue Bloods.”

Things slowed down some in Hour 2, but the New Kids rewarded the hardcore by digging deep into their catalog by playing not one, but two, tracks from their 1989 Christmas album, complete with fake snow falling on them. They even revisited 1994’s “Face the Music,” an ill-advised move into new jack swing and hip-hop that essentially ended their career.

NKOTB has also wisely chosen opening acts to further stoke the nostalgic Gen-Xers who pay their bills. Paula Abdul, on her first tour in 25 years, and Boyz II Men fill that role for the current tour. But Wednesday was one of several no-shows for Abdul, who is suffering from a “temporary injury.” (Earlier in the day, the browser-crashing gossip website Radar Online broke the story that Abdul was just evicted from her rented Los Angeles penthouse. Coincidence?)

Boyz II Men, who also joined the New Kids in 2013, got about twice the stage time they did last time around, a savvy move given the vocal group’s nearly decade-long run of hits. Shawn Stockman got the audience roaring when he told them his group recorded 1994’s “On Bended Knee” right here in the Twin Cities with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. “It’s safe to say we have a huge affinity, love and affection for Minnesota.” Right back at you, Shawn.

New Kids on the Block Share Fan Tribute Video ‘Thankful’: Watch


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New Kids on the Block Share Fan Tribute Video ‘Thankful’: Watch

New Kids on the Block in the video for “Thankful.”

New Kids on the Block have been one of the biggest pop acts since their late 80s debut and are still going strong in 2017. They’re on a massive tour with Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul this summer and they’re well aware that such career longevity is all thanks to their die-hard fans.

On Friday (June 23), the classic boy band released a music video for “Thankful,” the title track of their recent Thankful EP. The video features behind-the-scenes shots of the group on tour, showing visuals of them on the bus, reuniting with their children, and triumphantly performing  in sold-out arenas.

Pop Shop Podcast: New Kids on the Block


Pop Shop Podcast: New Kids on the Block Reveal ‘Dream’ New Edition Tour; Plus, One Love Manchester News, More

The band said the song with the emotional chorus, “Because of you, I am thankful,” is a tribute to their fans and a show of gratitude for all that they have done for them. In the video, as the track builds, it features shots of a number of fans honoring them and their entire fan community, thanking them for the success of NKOTB.

Watch the video below:

Who Needs Magic Mike When You’ve Got New Kids on the Block?


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Who Needs Magic Mike When You’ve Got New Kids on the Block?

New Kids On The Block performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26, 2017.EXPAND

New Kids On The Block performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26,

Before the Total Package Tour headliners New Kids on the Block took over the stage for a two-hour choreographed collective pelvis thrust, a couple other things went down.

The first was a killer performance by Boys II Men.

Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman kicked that shit off right. The night of singalongs and fevered screams started with their hit, “Motownphilly,” reminding everyone where they’re from. The hooky line in that song, “ABC, BBD, the East Coast family,” gives a shout out to some of their peer pop ‘n’ soul acts that helped to define what’s known as the New Jack Swing sound: Another Bad Creation and Bell Biv Devoe.

It was a night for hits, and they played ‘em — “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” “One Sweet Day,” which they did originally with Mariah Carey, and “I’ll Make Love to You,” to name a few. On the latter, all three members passed out a ton of roses to the gimme-gimme hands grabbing to take home a piece of the action. “A Song for Mama” and “End of the Road” were a couple other favorites. As good as they sounded, their dance moves were on par. Their choreography wasn’t rigid — lightly in sync with a focus on individual flair. Wanya’s dance moves are so on point, they landed him on Dancing with the Stars. His glittery high-tops were a focal point.

Paula Abdul was up second in this glitzy trinity.

She was wheeled onto the stage by her dancers as she stood atop a desk in a bling-y gold lamé dress and busted into “Cold-hearted Snake.” Still perky as hell, she focused less on quantity, more on quality with a set short in songs that was stretched out with theatrical dance numbers and costume changes. Again, the dancing was so good.

Paula Abdul performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26, 2017.EXPAND

Paula Abdul performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26, 2017.

Both Abdul and her team delivered to the point that she didn’t really need the constant graphic barrage.

It worked when she followed her talk about legendary dancer Gene Kelly, and how he influenced her, with “Opposites Attract,” where she performed along with her cartoon pal, Skat Cat. And I get that giant arenas have a lot of space to fill but, eh, there was plenty of action for the eyes to soak up. She, of course, did “Straight Up” and “Forever Your Girl,” and gave an inspirational talk, geared specifically toward the women in the crowd, about never giving up, sharing her own story about becoming a Laker Girl and how that shows you can be anything you wanna be.

So then, you know, that other thing happened next. Danny-Donnie-Joey-Jon-Jordan.

These all-grown-up poppy R&B babies from the ‘80s are seemingly doing a lot more dick grinding than they did back then. Seriously, thrust power alone could have blown the roof off that place. Saving grace, they definitely did it with tongues heartily in cheeks, but damn.

Chippendale’s, Magic Mike, Thunder from Down Under, ya’ll got competition. Didn’t seem like anyone was interested in complaining as they plowed (heh heh) through 33 songs with gusto.

New Kids On The Block performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26, 2017.EXPAND

New Kids On The Block performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26, 2017.

It’s ridiculous to even examine their set in any linear fashion. It was non-stop. They confetti-bombed the fuck out of the place, they sang a holiday song and made it snow. There were pianos coming up through the floor, people going up and down on middle-of-the-stage risers. They shifted between two different stage set-ups. At one point, they all ended up in different parts of the audience, singing and hand-shaking amongst mass screaming and selfie-taking.

There were costume changes. From jean vests to satin jackets to full white suits. And dance moves. So. Many. Moves. “You Got It (the Right Stuff),” “Summertime,” “Please Don’t Go Girl,” “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” — they played all the favorites. They did a birthday song and brought up a girl who said it was her birthday. They sang about peace on earth. They sang next to projected pictures of their younger selves.


They all seemed to be having a really good time, especially Donnie, who looked like he would have been ready to go another hour. They clenched fists and nearly busted facial veins while delivering the ballads. They worked in a lot of cheeky stuff, like sliding up a tank top here or there, in time with the music of course, for some ab reveals. They had a change cam that allowed the audience to witness some goofy backstage silliness while they maneuvered into some different threads. During “Hard,” they spoofed their own silly lyrics with a rotation of cartoon imagery of things like cucumbers and eggplants.

Before they wrapped it up with “Hangin’ Tough,” it had gone on so long, the last half hour was just surreal. It was sensory overload as they danced through suspended confetti-filled lights in their asylum-white suits until Donnie was the last man standing. He did a quick and funny breakdance routine, followed by a couple push-ups before it was finally quits.

Couple notes, though.

First: Dear Donnie, don’t bring a little girl on stage to sing her the ballad about getting married. Fuck a whole bunch of that. She has got plenty of other things she can put on her to-do list.

And second: You don’t have to incorporate the “We Will Rock You” into “Hangin’ Tough.” I’m way late to that party but still gotta bring it up — especially since Imma let you slide with that Delfonics song.

New Kids On The Block performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26, 2017.EXPAND

New Kids On The Block performed at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday, May 26, 2017.

NKOTB Set List:
1. “One More Night”
2. “My Favorite Girl”
3. “Dirty Dancing”
4. “You Got It (the Right Stuff)”
5. “Remix ( I Like the…)”
6. “Block Party”
7. “Tonight”
8. “Summertime”
9. “Games”
10. “Cover Girl”
11. “The Whisper”
12. “Stop It Girl”
13. “Popsicle”
14. “Be My Girl”
15. “I Wanna Be Loved by You”
16. “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” (cover, originally done by the Delfonics)
17. “Call it What You Want”
18. “Valentine Girl”
19. “Happy Birthday”
20. “You Got the Flavor”
21. “Dirty Dawg”
22. “Never Let You Go”
23. “If You Go Away”
24. “Peace to the World”
25. “This One’s for the Children”
26. “Still Sounds Good to Me”
27. “Hard (Not Lovin’ You)”
28. “Single”
29. “Please Don’t Go Girl”
30. “Thankful”
31. “Step by Step”
32. “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)”
33. “Hangin’ Tough”

Critic’s Notebook
Last Night: Total Package tour at Talking Stick Arena: New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul, Boys II Men.
The crowd: Grown-up NKOTB fans who were beyond excited to dust off their old T-shirts and memorabilia for an evening with Danny, Donnie, Joey, John, and Jordan. Ladies, mostly ladies.
Overheard: Who could hear a fucking thing over 20,000 giddy screams?

Quickfire with New Kids on the Block’s Donnie Wahlberg


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Quickfire with New Kids on the Block’s Donnie Wahlberg

The singer and actor on pickle juice, politics and positivity 

Donnie Wahlberg wants to talk some sense into US politicians 

Donnie Wahlberg wants to talk some sense into US politicians

Guilty pleasure? Watching The Real Housewives with my wife [actress Jenny McCarthy]. We’ve just got into Ladies of London.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? My brother Mark [Wahlberg].

Where is home? Spread between Boston, New York and just outside Chicago, where we spend most of our time.

Career plan B? Police officer.

Biggest bugbear? The dishonesty of politicians in the US right now.

As a child you wanted to be… A professional baseball player.

Earliest memory? Playing with a car on the kitchen floor in Boston while drinking Kool-Aid.

Your best quality? My positive attitude – I try to stay grateful.

And your worst? When I’m not being positive or grateful, I get crabby.

Last meal on earth? Fried chicken and fish and chips – with homemade chips – followed by chocolate-chip cookies and ice cream.

Dream dinner-party guests? James Corden, Beyoncé and the major politicians in the US. I’d ask James to make them laugh, Beyoncé to serenade them – and I’d try to talk some sense into them.

Advice to teenage self? Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be just fine.

Secret skill? Removing snow. As a child, I used to make money shovelling snow for my neighbours. Now I’m an adult, I wait for the snow with anticipation.

Starstruck moment? When I met my wife on a TV show in 2012. I felt very shy around her, but I think that worked to my advantage.

Career highlight? Re-forming New Kids on the Block in 2008.

Big break? Meeting the producer Maurice Starr [who created New Kids on the Block] and Mickey Rourke, who cast me in the 1996 film Bullet. I’d wanted to act for years.

Favourite tipple? A pickleback – a shot of Jameson whiskey followed by pickle juice.

Hangover cure? My wife has a secret hangover prevention remedy: if you drink the remedy while you’re drinking, you won’t get a hangover.

What did you have for breakfast today? A shake with chocolate protein powder, almond milk, peanut butter and half a banana.

Top of your bucket list? I’ve yet to jump out of an aeroplane.

Biggest inspiration? My mum and my children.

What makes your life better? Gratitude and a heated toilet seat.

Your idea of a perfect day? Waking up with my wife, then maybe going to the diner for breakfast – and not leaving her side the entire time.

Worst job you’ve ever done? I worked with my dad for two summers driving his truck. He was a bit grouchy.

Last film that made you cry? Moonlight.

Where would you time travel to? The 1950s. It seems like the last great time of innocence and great music.

First record you bought? Lost In Space by Jonzun Crew.

Favourite book? I have two: the autobiography of Malcolm X and The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.

Biggest extravagance? I have a lot of expensive tennis shoes.

Biggest regret? I don’t have any – anything I regret I try to fix right away.

Style icon? US rapper Future.

Celebrity crush? I married her.

New Kids on the Block’s latest single ‘One More Night’ and EP Thankful are out now on Kobalt Music Recordings

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Get a 30-second glimpse of New Kids On The Block’s New Orleans show: video


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Get a 30-second glimpse of New Kids On The Block’s New Orleans show: video

By Doug MacCash, | The Times-Picayune
Follow on Twitter
on May 22, 2017 at 9:53 AM, updated May 22, 2017 at 10:56 AM


NKOTB were the kings of the Smoothie King Center Friday (May 19). In case you missed the beyond-seductive show, we were invited to video some of the first song. So check it out.

Also dig the comments that have accrued under the gorgeously written, compelling yet comical, insightful, perceptive, empathetic review (by me).

New Kids On The Block woo a womanly crowd in New Orleans

New Kids On The Block woo a womanly crowd in New Orleans

All five members of the perennial “boy” band remain toned and talented in middle age.

beachgirl had this perspective:

“I’ve been to many NKOTB concerts and each one is better than the last…And it does bring us 40-year-olds back to our early teen years and allows us to forget that we aren’t in our youth any longer! We screamed, squealed, sang, and screamed some more until the lights came on! Great show!”

As Dawn M wrote (in a hoarse whisper):

“I have been to 7 concerts (1990, 1991, 2008, and 2013 in Houston and Dallas), 2015, and now 2017 … I have been on 2 cruises (2014 and 2016). It never gets old. Here we are the next day and I can’t talk from all the screaming I did. I will be there every tour for as long as they decide to put on a show. It was an amazing show, so glad they changed up some of the song selections but I also did miss some songs that were cut. For one night I am able to leave all my worries and concerns behind and not be 41 years old. I can holler for my favorite New Kid and dance in the aisles with my friends to our favorite songs.”

zoomcandy concurred:

“I thought it was an amazing show, but I’ve been a blockhead (that’s what NKOTB fans are called) since the 80’s. Their shows make me feel like a teenager again & forget that I am a 40-year-old with responsibilities – for just a few hours. I screamed, squealed, & danced like a 15-year-old for 4 wonderful hours and I will do it again for 4 days in October when I cruise with NKOTB.

Flippy seemed to be the only dissenter:

“Would’ve been a great venue for ‘woman watching;’ however, you would’ve been stuck listening to really bad music…”

Flippy, I can’t be sure of this, but you may have just been flipped off by NKOTB fans everywhere.

Lisa wrote:

“If all men aged like these guys the world would be a much more beautiful place, lol. Give me a 48-year-old Jordan Knight over a 20-something Harry Styles any day!”

I can tell you Lisa, remaining gorgeous as one ages isn’t easy. It can’t be taken for granted.

New Kids on the Block serve sex and nostalgia on a pyrotechnic platter in Austin


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New Kids on the Block serve sex and nostalgia on a pyrotechnic platter in Austin

The year is young yet, but I’ve already seen things. Things you couldn’t imagine you’d see in 2017.

I’ve seen Jordan Knight grab his right stuff while rockets and cucumbers flew across the screen behind him. I’ve seen him bounce his pecs on a live “Quick Change Cam.” I’ve seen Joey McIntire throw up double hook ’em horns while wearing a University of Texas jersey, and I’ve seen his neck veins bulge to push out Broadway notes. I’ve seen Danny Wood breakdance. I’ve seen Jonathan Knight turn, inexplicably, into Marcus Mumford.

I’ve still never seen Donnie Wahlberg’s eyes.

But I have seen him — pumped up and hanging tough in a Chesneyan cowboy hat, one of many chapeaus — croon atop a flaming piano.

I can’t help but wonder: Will Zayn Malik be singing on top of a pyrotechnic instrument in 20 years? I ask the question only because Wahlberg set a high bar for second-act boy band theatrics Sunday night in Austin, and also because I’m still wondering how that flaming piano works. Wahlberg and the rest of the New Kids on the Block — McIntyre, Wood and the brothers Knight — wielded spectacle, synchronized dance moves, nostalgia and phallic fan service with polished aplomb on the Frank Erwin Center stop of the Total Package Tour.

PHOTOS: New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul, and Boyz II Men at Frank Erwin Center, May 21, 2017

The double entendre of the “Total Package Tour” refers, in its most innocent reading, to openers Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul, who respectively answered the questions:

  1. Is passing out red roses to women in an arena to “I’ll Make Love to You” still sexy as hell? (Yes.)
  2. Will you spend your Sunday evening watching a former Laker Girl plummet to her gruesome demise after she flings herself off a ladder? (No — Abdul, tacky and sweet in all the right measures — executed her dance moves with staggering precision. The rambling story about Gene Kelly that heralded the triumphant second coming of MC Skat Kat was just the glitter on the leotard.)

The openers, though steeped in rose-colored charm, still toiled under the shadow of throwback status. The Boyz and Abdul never strayed far from the guiding light of past glory, while the Kids seemed newly electric the moment they rose from the floor on a platform.

I’ll let the guy behind me speak for us all: “Oh s___, it’s happening.”

Old hits and comeback songs alike got a marathon workout. “Tonight” manifested as a divide-and-conquer selfie marathon. “Summertime” took the group’s still-well-oiled synchronized dancing for a successful stress test, as did a climactic “Step By Step,” where the white-clad quintet didn’t not recall their boy band scions, the Backstreet Boys, in the final scene of 2013 comedy “This Is the End.”

Speaking of well-oiled, climactic conquests: The New Kids served sex on a pneumatically lifted platter. The fivesome smelled the blood in the revival tour water, and it smelled like packs of women in matching NKOTB shirts (homemade or otherwise). As soon as fire plumed, jackets came off, and Jordan Knight’s nether-regions swiveled like clockwork. I’ve never seen a group of fortysomething men pull up the fronts of their shirts so much in one night. While Jonathan Knight didn’t get into the “Magic Mike”-ing quite as often as his compatriots, he did get to bring a woman up on stage for a birthday serenade. On the aforementioned “Quick Change Cam,” Austin saw more of Wahlberg than perhaps anyone outside of Jenny McCarthy.

Cycling through their catalog, including a Christmas song, the New Kids kept the spotlight on their holy trinity, for the most part. Wahlberg brought the easy and coarse charisma of an uncle who buys you beer to his role as de facto emcee. The Knight who does the falsetto held a more reticent, banter-less stance, while still sparking with thrusty, winky star power when he took the frontman post. McIntyre, the quickest to peel off his shirt all night, spun off from the choreographed nucleus like a particularly flirtatious electron all evening, even at final bow.

Life after Tiger Beat, it turns out, doesn’t have to look all too different from the days of fade haircuts and pantomimed violins.

DANNY WOOD – Interview 2017


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25 / 05 / 2017 Brigitte Schultejans

Cantante de NKOTB

“Ya no pretendemos llegar al gran público, solo a nuestros fans”

Hace tiempo que los New Kids On The Block se acortaron el nombre a NKOTB porque ya no son new (nuevos) ni kids (chicos). Su nuevo trabajo, Thankful, acaba de salir a la venta.

¿Por qué les ha llevado tanto tiempo su nuevo trabajo?

Después de nuestro álbum de 2008 también dejamos cinco años hasta el próximo. Parece ser el tiempo que necesitamos para salir de gira y concretar otros proyectos. Tampoco queremos lanzar todo el tiempo música nueva: nuestra nueva música ya no es relevante para el gran público, sí para nuestros fans.

¿Por qué les cuesta llegar hoy en día a un público masivo?

Porque somos viejos. Los rankings están dominados por músicos de 20 y 30 años. No podemos competir con Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry… Por muy buena que sea la música, los músicos más grandes tienen dificultades para que los pasen en la radio. Sin embargo, en nuestros conciertos la música funciona fantásticamente, y eso es importante para nosotros. No nos propusimos ir de radio en radio con el disco e intentar aterrizar en el top-ten. El negocio de la música ya no funciona así. En Estados Unidos se escuchan todo el tiempo 25 o 30 canciones y no nos hacemos ilusiones de romper esa rotación.

¿Esto le frustra?

¿Por qué debería preocuparme? Nuestra nueva gira podría ser la más grande que hayamos hecho. Pero como grupo no podemos ser One Direction y hacer un hit tras otro. Tenemos que ser quienes somos. Somos una banda con muchos años cuyos fans por suerte volvieron tras nuestro regreso en 2008. Y ahora les damos música nueva que los pone contentos. Hay que conocerse bien, sobre todo cuando se está en los 40. No vamos a salir a competir con artistas que están en sus 20.

¿Pero no sigue buscando desafíos?

Reunirnos todos para grabar seis canciones ya fue suficiente desafío. Cuatro de nosotros tenemos hijos, yo soy divorciado y crío a mis hijos solo. Así que primero tenemos que encontrar el tiempo para grabar la música, grabar un vídeo y organizar la gira. Por suerte nos divierte a todos. Y eso se nota sobre el escenario.

¿Son distintas las giras de ahora a las de los 90?

Hoy tenemos una mejor performance. Ya no correteamos por ahí como veinteañeros alocados. Aprendimos a entretener al público de una forma más controlada. Siempre he cuidado mi cuerpo, he hecho deporte y me alimento bien, y los demás también.

¿Y qué pasa en el backstage?

Ya no hay fiestas. Solo hacemos una fiesta cuando nos encontramos con los fans. Son cuatro días de locos. Pero es el único momento del año en que estoy de fiesta. Cuando estamos de gira hay una atmósfera familiar en el backstage. Mis hijos y mi padre viajan conmigo. [DPA]