New Edition at the Kia Forum

Before there was New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, and N’Sync, there was New Edition. Formed in Boston, MA with Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, and Ralph Tresvant, New Edition continued what the Jackson 5 started a decade earlier. Johnny Gill joined six years later after Brown’s departure. 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of their debut album and first tour, Candy Girl. Brown pursued a solo career five years after the group formed and returned again a decade later briefly and returned again in 2005 and has been with the group since. New Edition’s Culture Tour last year was their first in six years. 

New Edition’s Legacy Tour stopped at the Kia Forum April 8th for a sold-out show with Keith Sweat, Guy, and Tank. In addition to Brown having a solo career, Gill and Tresvant also were solo artists and Bell, Bivins, and DeVoe formed Bell Biv DeVoe in 1990. Brown, Tresvant, and Gill formed Heads of State in 2008. Also, Brown, Bell, Bivins, and DeVoe briefly formed RBRM trying to get the group together again. 

From 1983-2004, New Edition released seven albums, two of which were number one on the Billboard U.S. R&B Chart, another three in the top five. They also had five number one singles in the U.S. R&B chart and another nine hits that were Top 10. All six members began the show coming up an elevator stage with matching outfits consisting of white fedoras and purple jackets. Throughout the show they had several wardrobe changes. All the hits were performed like “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Candy Girl,” and “Can You Stand the Rain.” In addition to New Edition songs, there were also solo songs from Brown, Gill, Tresvany, and Bell Biv DeVoe. The second to last song was Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison.” NE Heartbreak was the final song of the night. The show had everything you could want and the backing band was incredible, as other vocal groups have switched to backing tracks, having a live band makes a huge difference.