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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
10. “Cover Girl”
11. “The Whisper”
12. “Stop It Girl”
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)”
29. “Please Don’t Go Girl”
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?
“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!”
“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.”
“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.
The New Kids on the Block perform at the Smoothie King Center on Friday, May 19, 2017. (Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)
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.
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.
“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]
DALLAS (CBSDFW) – Tragedy struck a departing crowd at the Manchester Arena in Northern England Monday night after an Ariana Grande concert.
A suicide bomber took the lives of at least 22 people and injured 59 others, some of them children.
Tuesday night in Dallas, a New Kids On The Block show is set to take place at the American Airlines Center.
One of the members of the pop band, Donnie Wahlberg, took to Facebook Tuesday morning to express his feelings on the show tonight and the attack in Manchester.
“Heading back on tour today. Obviously, after the tragic events in (hashtag) Manchester, it’s with a heavy heart and lots on my mind. I found myself searching for the right words to say to the thousands planning on attending our concert in Dallas tonight – who suddenly have to consider things of far greater concern than the inconveniences of parking their cars.”
Heading back on tour today. Obviously, after the tragic events in#Manchester, it’s with a heavy heart and lots on my mind.
I found myself searching for the right words to say to the thousands planning on attending our concert in Dallas tonight – who suddenly have to consider things of far greater concern than the inconveniences of parking their cars. My thoughts kept bringing me back to a dance I shared with this young lady in New Orleans, a few nights back. She must have be…
Wahlberg then touched on a moment he shared with a young girl at a show in New Orleans a few nights ago. Wahlberg goes on to say that he danced with the young fan and described it as what music and concerts are all about.
“This moment/dance that I shared with her, and the thousands who witnessed it, was a moment of joy, energy, love, hope and freedom. That’s what music is. It’s what concerts are – a great expression of (hashtag) hope and (hashtag) freedom. Which is exactly why those with no #hope in their hearts, would choose to target them.”
“It is also exactly why we must carry on, and continue our ritual of gathering to celebrate our lives, loves, dreams, hopes and freedom. Those hopeless souls, who wish to spread misery and hatred by carrying out acts of terror, can only win by turning us into the same lost and hopeless souls that they are. They only win by killing our hope, and taking away our freedom, Whalberg said.
“Tonight, I will dance. I will dance, sing and celebrate. It will be with a heavy heart, and with thoughts of the victims and families in (hashtag) Manchester on my mind, but I will not be deterred. I hope that you won’t be deterred either. I hope that young people everywhere, much like the young lady in this picture and the millions of (hashtag) Arianators around the world, will continue to celebrate their freedom – and continue to find hope through music. We need (hashtag) hope now more than ever, and our (hashtag) freedom can only be sustained by honoring it – every day of our lives.”
Still swooning from the last time the New Kids came through in 2009
It’s true. New Kids on the Block are playing at the Anaheim House of Blues on May 27 (teenage squeal). In fact, they are stopping at HOB Anaheim exclusively in celebration of the venue chain’s 25th anniversary. Now many ‘80s children can summon their inner pre-teen, grab their old school crimper, and glob on their neon makeup in hopes that their adolescent heroes will notice their existence for even a brief moment just like the good ol’ days.
The only difference this time is that you and your gal pals are old enough to grab your own rides sans embarrassment to the show and don’t have to go begging to the parentals for some cash to grab a quick dinner at Hot Dog on a Stick. I mean, as if!
Sure the guys might not be the 16-year-old heartthrobs you remember from your youth, but they have aged like a fine, fine red wine. The dance moves, the harmonizing, and the lyrics that speak so near and dear to your inner teenage soul will all be there at the Anaheim HOB later this month and you can’t afford to miss it!
1. Joey McIntyre Could Make Eye Contact with You
Oh those baby blues—heart be still! If you get there early enough and find your spot in the pit, could you just imagine Joey gazing deeply into your very soul? You just like die (chews piece of gum)! But seriously, this dreamboat has a pair of peepers that could make just about anyone keel over with a simple stare down. Don’t even get me started with that smile! Clearly, audiences agree because Joey has also sold over one million records worldwide as a solo artist too. Make sure to grab your spot early so you get your chance to make a little eye contact (wink).
Review: Have New Kids on the Block still got the right stuff? Screaming fans say ‘yes’
New Kids on the Block were the stuff of innocuous preteen fantasies when they rolled out of Boston back in 1988 with the crush-worthy charms of a bittersweet ballad called “Please Don’t Go Girl.”
That breakthrough single was the first of five songs from their second album, “Hangin’ Tough,” to crack the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, touching off a shriek-inducing wave of New Kids mania.
The youngest, Joey McIntyre, was just 15 at the time.
He’s 44 now, still inducing shrieks with the same four heartthrobs he’s been learning dance steps with for more than 30 years.
Their names, as previously scrawled across the notebooks of a generation, are Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood and the Knight brothers, Jordan and Jonathan.
Friday in Phoenix, they played to what certainly looked to be a capacity crowd at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The screaming may have fooled you into thinking there were twice that many people. But there weren’t. The fire marshal wouldn’t let that happen.
Still got the right stuff
The question for New Kids is “How do you entertain someone when you’ve taken them from preteen slumber parties to bachelorette parties and out the other side?”
And if you don’t think that’s a question these guys asked and answered, how do you explain the skill with which they pulled it off?
The right stuff? They’ve still got it. And they serve it with a playful sense of self awareness.
Did they go a little heavy on the Chippendales theatrics, with the backstage quick-change cam and Wahlberg showing off his abs while standing on top of a flaming piano? I’m sure that depends on who you’re asking.
But this is their crowd. And they know how to work it, with their matching outfits and slick choreography. They wandered the crowd, shaking hands, and performed for a while on a much smaller stage at the back of the venue, where Wood executed some serious breakdancing moves in an ASU Sun Devils jersey.
They’d come back to Phoenix for two reasons, Wahlberg explained to thunderous applause by way of introducing “Summertime,” the Top 40 hit that announced their return in 2008.
“Nobody knows how to party like Phoenix,” he said. “That’s one. But we came back here to bring some happiness back into this f–king world.”
And that’s exactly what they did for nearly 20,000 people.
Does it help that they’ve mastered the fine art of staring straight into the crowd as they sing in a way that seems to say, “That’s right, I see you and you’re beautiful. That’s why I’m sending this one out to you and only you. Because you are my favorite girl?”
Of course it does.
The performance began with the five men rising from beneath the stage on a hydraulic lift in matching outfits, having set the tone with a video that played out like a movie trailer.
They opened with a new song, “One More Night,” whose racy lyrics were a far cry from the subject matter of their 1984 debut.
“She gets me high / Lying on my bed with that look in her eye / Reading the signs / I’m riding every curve with her into the light.”
And it somehow felt perfectly natural when they cut directly to “My Favorite Girl” from “Hangin’ Tough,” grinning their way through the chorus of “My favorite girl, oh, she’s my favorite girl, don’t you know” while executing a series of synchronized dance moves as confetti rained down on the crowd.
So many pelvic thrusts
They stripped down to sleeveless black undershirts for the more recent “Dirty Dancing,” which involved more pelvic thrusting than “My Favorite Girl.” So many pelvic thrusts.
And then it was back to the ‘80s again for the opening track of “Hangin’ Tough,” “You Got It (The Right Stuff).”
There’s no escaping the nostalgic aspects of a show like this. They’re playing to a sold-out crowd made up primarily of fans who spent their tween years crushing hard on every New Kids picture they could find in “Tiger Beat.”
But they managed to satisfy that needs of the nostalgic while making a case for the music they’ve made since reuniting in 2007.
In fact, the mix of old and new was probably less focused on the early years than, say, a Paul McCartney show.
And a lot of the older songs were performed in a series of medleys broken down by album with the cover art projected on the screen behind the screen to rapturous applause.
That portion of the concert started with five songs from their 1984 debut, which flopped on impact but eventually went triple-platinum when the label chose to cash in on the “Hangin’ Tough” hysteria by issuing their heartfelt take on the Delfonics’ “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” in 1989, resulting in another Top 10 hit.
Three songs from 1990’s “Step By Step” gave way to four from “Face the Music,” a 1994 release that Wahlberg joked about the fans not liking as much as their previous work, which was certainly true at time.
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A large part of their fan base seemed to think they’d grown out of their New Kids phase by 1994.
But here we are.
They even dipped into their “Merry, Merry Christmas” album.
And then, it was back to the future with two songs from “Thankful,” a new EP – the nostalgic “Still Sounds Good to Me,” with its lyrical references to 1989,and “Hard (Not Luvin U),” where the double entendre of the title was duly reinforced with phallic images, from bananas and eggplants to a champagne bottle spraying.
And speaking of bringing this thing to a climax (just trying to stay in the spirit of the show), the concert ended with not one but three chart-topping singles, “Step by Step,” a soulful “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” and a muscular “Hangin’ Tough,” which included a snippet of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
It was everything the New Kids faithful could have hoped for in 2017. And maybe more.
It’s called the Total Package Tour for reasons that go deeper than their love of phallic humor. It’s an actual package tour with two well-chosen openers who also play well to nostalgia for the early New Kids era – Paul Abdul and Boyz II Men.
Still forever your girl
Abdul hasn’t been on the road since the Under My Spell Tour wrapped in 1992.
But she’s still got the moves and energy to lead her crew of backup dancers through a hit-filled set that kept things short and sweet while touching on the highlights of her career, including an appearance by the legendary MC Skat Kat (via video).
The animated cat made his appearance on a feisty romp through “Opposites Attract.”
And after setting the tone with “The Way That You Love Me,” she managed to feature no fewer than five chart-topping singles (that’s the right stuff) in a six-song set that may have peaked with her biggest hit, “Straight Up,” before bringing her part of the package to a close with a friendly reminder that she is forever your girl.
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men opened the show with a deeply soulful survey of their own career. After setting the tone with their first single, “Motownphilly,” they made their way through such obvious highlights as “On Bended Knee” (which ended with Shawn Stockman on his bended knee, pleading his case), “I’ll Make Love to You” and “A Song for Mama.”
They strapped on instruments for a spirited medley of Lenny Kravitz’ “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” the Guess Who’s “American Woman” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” and treated the fans to their take on the Five Satins gem “In the Still of the Night.”
When it came time to feature “One Sweet Day,” a massive hit recorded with Mariah Carey, they invited fans to take Mariah’s part – how hard could that be? – which resulted in a rousing singalong. Of course, most songs they did resulted in a rousing singalong, from “I’ll Make Love to You” to the set-closing “End of the Road.”
New Kids setlist
One More Night
My Favorite Girl
You Got It (The Right Stuff)
Remix (I Like the)
Stop It Girl
Be My Girl
I Wanna Be Loved by You
Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)
Call It What You Want
You Got the Flavor
Never Let You Go
If You Go Away
Peace to the World
This One’s for the Children
Still Sounds Good to Me
Hard (Not Luvin U)
Please Don’t Go Girl
Step by Step
I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)
Hangin’ Tough / We Will Rock You
Paula Abdul setlist
The Way That You Love Me
Singin’ in the Rain
Forever Your Girl
Boyz II Men setlist
On Bended Knee
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday
Water Runs Dry
Are You Gonna Go My Way / American Woman / Locked Out of Heaven
First we’ll give you the facts and then … the dare.
On June 1, the New Kids on the Block along with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men will bring The Total Package Tour to the Viejas Arena.
And since each of these acts has made pop music history, with catchy melodies that have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, we dare you to get through this story without having one of the songs we refer to completely dominate the soundtrack of your mind for the rest of the day.
The Boston-bred members of NKOTB are no longer kids, and they’ve been around the block — a lot.
For the past decade the band has enjoyed a surging, screaming wave of popularity, proving that step by step, they have the right stuff … baby. OK, we’ll stop now.
In the early 1980s, Boston producer Maurice Starr, aka Larry Johnson, had a contract dispute with his R&B act New Edition and decided to create a Caucasian version of that group.
At the tender age of 14, Donnie Wahlberg auditioned, Starr approved, and Wahlberg recruited his high school friends to become the next big boy band.
Starr named the group Nynuk and marketed them to black audiences and radio stations, where they were initially perceived as a novelty act.
In 1988, “Please Don’t Go Girl” was released as the lead single to the group’s second album, “Hangin’ Tough,” which was co-produced by the band.
The song was distributed to black stations, utilizing the same strategy as the 1986 debut album, “New Kids on the Block,” which featured the band’s new name.
At first, the song floundered.
But then the New Kids received a standing ovation during a 1988 gig at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, known for its notoriously critical audience.
And when a Tampa DJ at pop station Q105 played “Please Don’t Go Girl,” the song became one of the most requested tracks and NKOTB effectively attracted a mushrooming crossover audience.
With their rat-tailed hair, acid-washed jeans, tight harmonies and synchronized choreography, NKOTB went on to achieve global success with pop hits that included “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” “Cover Girl,” “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” “Hangin’ Tough,” “I’ll Be Loving You,” “Step by Step” and “Tonight.”
NKOTB also launched a merchandising empire, with the members’ likenesses inspiring everything from a cartoon series to playing cards. Forbes reported that the group earned $115 million for 1990-91, more than Michael Jackson and Madonna.
The singers severed their relationship with Starr in 1993 and parted ways a year later. They were exhausted with constant touring, sales began to drop, and Jonathan Knight was suffering from an anxiety disorder. The NKOTB members went their separate ways until 2008, when Donnie received a demo tape with the song “Click, Click, Click.” He imagined his old friends singing the track, and he eventually sold them on the idea of reuniting after a 15-year break. Since then, NKOTB has toured with Lady Gaga, Backstreet Boys, TLC and Nelly. In October, the group intends to “bring happy back” by hosting Cruise #9 New Orleans to Cozumel. Find more information at nkotb.com.
New Kids on the Block
Donnie Wahlberg, 47
Then: Donnie’s younger brother, Mark Wahlberg, was one of the original members of New Kids on the Block.
Now: Donnie has earned numerous acting credits. He appeared in the 1999 film “The Sixth Sense” and currently plays the role of Danny Reagan in the CBS television series “Blue Bloods.”
Jordan Knight, 47
Then: Jordan has recorded solo projects, including “Unfinished” in 2011. In 2014, he joined Nick Carter to record “Switch.”
Now: The married father of two signed a franchise agreement to convert his Rhode Island gym, Fit World, into a Retro Fitness.
Jonathan Knight, 48
Then: Jonathan suffers from an anxiety order that kept him home-bound from 1994 to 1997.
Now: Last year, Jonathan proposed to fitness trainer Harley Rodriguez during a trip to Africa. In 2015, the couple placed ninth in the CBS reality competition “The Amazing Race.”
Joey McIntyre, 44
Then: Joey was just 12 years old when he joined NKOTB, and for the first year he wanted to quit because the older boys gave him a hard time.
Now: McIntyre stars in and produces the comedy series “Return of the Mac” on the Pop network.
Danny Wood, 48
Then: In the ninth grade, Danny and Donnie would break dance every Friday night at Catholic school dances.
Now: Wood created the Remember Betty Foundation in honor of his mother, who died of breast cancer in 1999. The foundation has raised $1.5 million, and helps to cover treatment expenses of New Kids fans with breast cancer.
Boyz II Men
The members of Boyz II Men attended Philadelphia’s High School of Creative and Performing Arts and were classically trained vocalists who sang a cappella in a lot of bathrooms (can’t beat those acoustics) before they sneaked into a Bell Biv DeVoe show and auditioned backstage for BBD’s Michael Bivins. One of the best-selling artists of all time, the group won four Grammy Awards in the 1990s with timeless classic R&B songs such as “I’ll Make Love to You” and “End of the Road.” The group was a quartet until 2003, when member Michael McCary left due to illness. Earlier this month, the Philadelphia City Council voted to rename a section of Broad Street “Boyz II Men Boulevard.”
Then: When he was just 9 years old, Stockman was touring with the Philadelphia Boys Choir.
Now: Stockman has a son with autism, which motivated him to launch the nonprofit organization Micah’s Voice in 2012 to help support families dealing with the condition.
Nathan Morris, 45
Then: The founding member of Boyz II Men got kicked out of a world history class for singing out loud.
Now: He likes to relax at his new house in Florida, which boasts 20-foot ceilings, huge windows and an ocean view.
Wanya Jermaine Morris, 43
Then: He dated the singer Brandy.
Now: Last year, he competed with Lindsay Arnold on “Dancing With the Stars” and finished the competition in fourth place.
Paula Abdul, 54
A former Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader and choreographer for video and stage (Janet Jackson, Duran Duran, Pointer Sisters), Abdul became one of the first women to chart four No. 1 singles with her 1988 debut album, “Forever Your Girl.” She went on to serve as a judge on “American Idol” for seven years in addition to appearing on “Dancing With the Stars: All Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Then: Abdul choreographed Janet Jackson’s 1986 “Nasty” music video in 30 minutes in front of her bathroom mirror.
Now: Abdul stated earlier this year that she would not return to the reboot of “American Idol.”
The Total Package Tour with New Kids on the Block, Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men
When: 7:30 p.m. June 1
Where: Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, San Diego State University, 5500 Canyon Crest Drive, San Diego