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Review: New Kids on the Block at The Forum

Pop music has some of the most supportive and aggressive groups of fans. Just search #Directioners, #Mahomies, #Harmonizers, #Drivers, or #LittleMonsters and you’ll see what I mean. These fans ban together and support their idols every waking moment of the day and will also protect them in a Twitter fight like a grizzly bear protecting her newborn cub. But before most of those fans were even born, Blockheads were showing their support for their idols of New Kids on the Block since their start in the late 80s. While NKOTB may not be connecting as much with the younger crowd, it’s safe to say that those who were Blockheads in the 80s and 90s are still Blockheads now. How many other bands can break up for 12 years and still tour arenas upon their reunion? You can probably count the groups on one hand, New Kids being one of them. Blockheads DO NOT mess around. The best part is as Blockheads are all adults now, they’re all very kind to each other on the internet and in person. There’s no one fighting over a band member, especially since four out of five members are married or have a partner and they’re all very supportive. That is why every NKOTB concert is a hell of a lot of fun. It’s one big Block party.

 

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Unlike many arena tours, NKOTB had their stage in the center of the arena, not at one end or the other, which made it equally accessible to every ticket holder. Although, there were a few lucky fans who bought VIP seats to the “bar” at the stage putting them within inches of the band at times. This gave them an incredible view to not only NKOTB but also TLC and Nelly.

While not all of the audience was present for Nelly’s performance, about 80% of the audience was there for TLC and LOVED every minute of it. The ladies of TLC are incredible performers and put on a visually stunning show with great choreography and fun 90s-inspired outfits.

 

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By 9pm when NKOTB took the stage, the audience was ready and accepted the band with open arms. While there were some screams, no screams were ever too loud so you could hear every note NKOTB sang. Unfortunately, the sound design wasn’t at its best so it was a little unbalanced. (Although, it didn’t help that Jonathan Knight was out for the evening due to an injury on the bus, so they weren’t as balanced as they normally would be. Get well Jonathan!) NKOTB played all of their hits including “I’ll be Loving You (Forever),” “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” and “Step by Step.” They also played some of their more recent singles, “We Own Tonight,” “Crash,” “Summertime,” and “Twisted.” To give a few members their own spotlight, Jordan (Knight), Joey (McIntyre), and Donnie (Wahlberg) all did solo sets. While Jordan performed “Give It To You,” his hit from 1999, Joey and Donnie sang solo versions of NKOTB tracks. While I wished Joey would have performed “I Love You Came Too Late,” I guess I’ll just have to keep attending shows and hope it’s on the set list for that evening. He did, however, bring his six-year-old son Griffin up on stage to sing “Tonight” with the group. He hit every freakin’ note, so watch out world. We may have another New Kid within the next decade.

 

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Among their favorites, they played beloved covers like 2Pac’s “California Love” and brought up a lucky fan to dance with them on stage. She won that dance fair and square as she made a dress out of her old NKOTB sheets. Yes, you read that correctly. In between sets, fans also got a little bit of a treat as they broadcasted the “Quick Change Cam” up on the jumbotron. So while all of the members wore spandex shorts for easy change underneath their pants, we did see everything from their shoes to their underoos.

As always, NKOTB kept it classy. Their voices are just as finely-tuned as ever. We can only hope that they keep making great albums so we can keep seeing them on tour. As long as NKOTB keeps making music, Blockheads will be there. There’s no doubt about it.

 

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