New Kids on the Block Take Fans on a ‘Trip Down Memory Lane’ for Total Package Tour
Here’s everything you need to know before catching NKOTB, Paula Abdul & Boyz II Men at an arena near you.
New Kids on the Block put out their debut album more than 30 years ago, back in 1986, but the quintet of Boston buddies (and bros) hasn’t slowed down in recent years, steadily touring and releasing new music, including Friday’s five-song Thankful EP.
They also just kicked off their Total Package Tour on Friday in Columbus, Ohio, joined by fellow classic acts Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul. So what new tricks do the not-so-New Kids have up their sleeves when it comes to entertaining a crowd of fans who have been coming to see them for three decades?
Before the tour continues Tuesday night (May 16) in Cincinnati, Billboard caught up with the guys for a Facebook Live interview (watch below) and found out everything you need to know before catching NKOTB at an arena near you this summer:
Old & New
“We’ve changed the show a lot,” Danny Wood tells Billboard. “We’ve added some old songs, kind of take fans on a trip down memory lane from the first album [1986’s New Kids on the Block] to our current EP Thankful. We haven’t really done something like that in our shows, so it’s a lot of fun. We do all the hits still and add a little bit of the new music. The first two shows [in Columbus and Grand Rapids, Michigan] went great.”
“We still dance a lot even though we’re old geezers,” Jordan Knight jokes. “But we put out a lot of energy. We love dancing and interacting with the crowd.”
In Good Company
“We toured with [Boyz II Men] in 2013, and it was great,” Wood says of their repeat tourmates. “We had a blast, so it’s kind of a natural thing to do it again, because it was very successful and they’re easy to work with. And Paula [Abdul] was just like a gigantic bonus that she wanted to tour again.”
“Paula Abdul’s show is amazing,” Jordan Knight chimes in. “We saw some footage of it earlier — we haven’t gotten a chance to see the full thing yet — but we saw some footage of it, and it looks like a music video or a musical. It’s like a Broadway show live onstage.”
On the Road Again
“When you go out on the road, even though we have families and lives, I mean, this is your job,” Joe McIntyre says of the highs and lows of touring. “You miss the other life, but it’s kind of nice to just focus on your job: the show at night. There is some downtime, which is nice, but you also need it because the tour is a grind, so I feel a little selfish at times knowing that my wife is home taking care of the three kids, but I have to enjoy it and make the most of it. Just traveling around the country and seeing these towns and then hanging with the guys — we’re lucky.”
Thankful for the Fans
“So far, so good,” Jonathan Knight says when asked how the crowd is responding to their brand-new EP Thankful. “I mean, the reaction from the crowd has been amazing. You know, and just for us to have new stuff to perform onstage — it’s always so fun to have that.”
“It’s been like four years since the last time we’ve put something out [2013’s 10], so it’s kind of more like a feeling of just, ‘Man, it’s kind of time now. It’s kind of time do something new for us and for the fans,’” Jordan Knight says of Thankful‘s timing. “It makes it fresh and new for us because we want to do some new stuff, we want to sing new songs and do new routines and stuff like that. And the fans want something new as well. We always, always do the old school stuff, so that’s a given, and we always want to do new stuff as well just to make it fun.
The Total Package Tour continues Tuesday night (May 16) in Cincinnati and wraps July 16 in Hollywood, Florida. Hear the New Kids’ full interview on an upcoming episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast.