Check out the full photo gallery here.
Picture itâ€¦ United States Of America, 1989. The girls all had poof bangs, stirrup pants and jellies. The guys all had asymmetrical lines shaved into the sides of their heads, hammer pants and hyper-color shirts. Boom boxes blasted from driveways all across this fine continent or ours, whilst we choreographed dance moves we would show to the world, as soon as we were accepted on Star Search, where Ed McMahon would surely claim us as the next big thing. The music we would dance to? Why, New Kids On The Block, of course.
The guys either wanted to be them or they hated them with a passion. The girls just wanted to be with them and O! How we could scream it from the top of our lungs. We all had our favorite one. Was it the ever-elusive shy guy, Jon Knight, or his gorgeous outspoken brother, Jordan? Maybe it was the Rebel with ripped jeans sporting a Boston Red Sox hat, Donnie Wahlburg? Perhaps it was Donny Wood and all his charm? And then there was Joey McIntyre, the baby who was such a pretty boy with an even more pretty voice.
Read on after the jump…
Whomever you chose, their likeness was inevitably plastered all over your bedroom wall or locker. Some even went as far as to collect the dolls, pins, stickers, patches, trapper keepers and what ever else they could lay their hands on. They were the gods of merch. Us ladies prayed to them and swooned all over them through the best and worst of our wonder years.
So here we are twenty years later. All those girls grown to be fine up-standing citizens of the world. Workers, mothers and lovers abound. All doing the things real adults should be doing. What happens when you throw a bunch of late twenties/early thirties folks (and their offspring) down memory lane, with nothing to hold on to but a nostalgic dream of the boys our underdeveloped minds latched on to so long ago? Iâ€™ll tell you what. The same exact thing that happened twenty years ago.
There were plenty â€œI heart NKOTBâ€ shirts to be had. The screaming reached to db levels Iâ€™ve only experienced standing in front of a wall of Marshall stacks cranked to eleven. Bright florescent poster board signs were begging for the boys to come to Gritty McDuffâ€™s post show or for random acts of copulation. My favorite had to be the â€œLesbians heart Joeyâ€ sign. YES. One lady even threw her g-string, with a picture of Jordan, on stage (more on that to come). Yes, I was profoundly proud of my fellow NKOTB fans. They really went for it like it was going out of style.
The show itself was nothing less then spectacular. The production was over the top, complete with a three-tiered stage with stairs down the center and a rising platform behind, a live four-piece band, dancers, and full use of the Jumbo Tron. They even placed a round stage at the back of the Civic Center with a baby grand piano. This stage spun around, lifted up and smoked with a red light illuminating its underbelly when it inevitably rose from the depths. Half way through their two hour long set, they all ran back for a few songs and pranced around for the folks with the over-priced nose bleed seats. So sweet.
The boys were really something else. None of them looked half as bad as Iâ€™d assumed they would. Hereâ€™s to aging gracefully. They didnâ€™t look worse for the wear and, actually, were still quite handsome. Every song had its full production moves, with a costume change per every other song. And there was way more live singing than I had expected.
They played all the hits like You Got It (The Right Stuff), Please Donâ€™t Go Girl, Iâ€™ll Be Loving You (Forever), Tonight, and My Favorite Girl. They also whipped out some new hits like Click, Click, Click and Summer time (you knowâ€¦ that hit that came out last year? Yeah, me neither.). They even sang some of their solo songs. Donnie did a version of Cover Girl complete with him playing electric guitar. Joey did a couple of sexy somber songs. The cherry on top was Jordan performing one of his solo songs, on the top tier, all dressed in white, with a fan blowing on him, shirt unbuttoned all the way and flapping in the wind (see photos!) Wow.
Another shining moment was when the undies were tossed onto the stage. Donnie picked them up and professed the urge to sniff them. All of a sudden, the rest of the boys started chanting â€œsniffâ€¦.sniffâ€¦sniffâ€¦â€. Iâ€™m sure he just couldnâ€™t contain himself when he asked the girl to turn her back for three seconds, then proceeded to grab a quick whiff before handing them off to Jordan, stating he half expected them to smell like clam chowder! That may have been about the time I lost it.
The end of the show I likened to the grand finale on the Fourth Of July. For their encore songs, they came out dressed in Celtics jerseys with Maine printed across the front. They sang Step By Step and Hanging Tough with the words to We Will Rock You spattered in there. The whole shebang finished nicely with them running and jumping off the main stage while confetti launchers spit loads of green and silver paper slivers all over the audience. A most proper ending to this grandiose pop show.
By that point, my senses had been bombarded with so much stimulation, I felt the price of admission was well worth it. I wanted a show and thatâ€™s most certainly what I got, in all itâ€™s glory. Straight up? If you hated them twenty years ago, this show would not have changed your feelings towards them. If you loved them twenty years ago, you would have been screaming with the best of us. I guess the boy bands never die, they just lie dormant until the next round of reunion tours. And they will certainly remain packed with hope and butterflies from all ladies, big and small, old and new. Iâ€™m glad there is, was and always will be one constant thing we can relate to on this planet. Music. Good or bad.
NKOTB 4 EVA