For nearly 40 years New Kids On The Block has been entertaining fans worldwide. From releasing their self titled debut album in 1986 NKOTB has been brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, and Joey McIntyre. NKOTB are one of the most successful boy bands and were just between the ages of 12 to 16 when they formed. Fans today that grew up with their music are now bringing their teenage kids to see NKOTB. NKOTB’s last Mixtape Tour was with Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Salt-N-Pepa, and Naughty By Nature. The latest Mixtape Tour stopped at the Honda Center home of the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night (5/28). Rather than having the other acts perform before NKOTB, the show’s format is a mixtape with NKOTB trading off with the other acts. Not only did this show include numerous hits, it was filled with classic 80s and 90’s dance moves, some of which can be seen in each act’s music videos. Everytime NKOTB tours it's a whole new show and setlist, but all the hits are there. In November of last year everyone came together on the Kelly Clarkson show to announce this 80’s dream tour.
Before the show began to get the crowd ready for an historic night, a nostalgic 80’s theme video played similar to the Street Fighter video game. The LED screens rotated 180 and there were Jordan, Danny, Donny, Jonathan, and Joey. NKOTB opened the show with “Block Party. NKOTB played a seven song set with major hits like “My Favorite Girl,” “Cover Girl,” “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” which the band stopped and stood still as the audience applauded and ended with “The Whisper,” from their 2013 album 10 which started with the group walking through the crowd on the way to the B stage. The song included a sing-a-long from the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” and had the group dancing around together in a circle. During “Summertime” fake snow came down.
Following NKOTB, the first guest of the night was En Vogue. En Vogue was originally four members from forming in 1989 through 2012 then became a trio. En Vogue consists of co-founders Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron with Rhona Bennett who has been with the group three different times since 2003. En Vogue performed two of their biggest hits “My Lovin’ (Never Gonna Get It)” and “Free Your Mind.” Following En Vogue’s fiery performance came the soulful Rick Astley.
NKOTB came back dressed in gray hoodies with their original name Nynuk on them. When NKOTB played Fenway park in their hometown of Boston, MA it was four months after the Wahlberg’s mother Alma passed and Donnie explained how his mom and the other moms would be at all their early shows when five people were showing up and that was symbolicalness of having the group’s original name on their hoodies. They were paying homage to their first two years together. For this part of the show NKOTB performed a medley of new and old songs, a cover of Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” combined with their 2008 song “Twisted” followed by “Remix (I Like The) from 10.
Now it was time for the last guests to make their appearance the Hip-Hop queens Salt-N-Pepa with a five song set with one of their biggest hits “Let’s Talk About Sex,” and were joined by En Vogue to close out with “Whatta Man.” En Vogue performed just one song “Don’t Let Go” before NKOTB came back.
McIntyre came out solo on the B stage and a microphone came down from the ceiling as he began to sing “Please Don’t Go Girl,” and the other members joined for the end before going into “Games.” NKOTB walked through the crowd during “Tonight” followed by a medley of six 80’s and 90’s covers.
Rick Astley made his second appearance on the main stage for “Never Gonna Give You Up,” which was a big sing-a-long as expected and “Cry for Help.” Salt-N-Pepa returned on the B stage for “Shoop” and was joined by Wahlberg. NKOTB came back for five songs starting with Jordan performing “Baby, I Believe in You” solo with an open white shirt like he did nearly 30 years earlier similar to Michael Jackson in the “Black or White” video. NKOTB followed with 80’s and early 90’s hits closing with Jordan’s signature song “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever).” As NKOTB were ending this set, En Vogue was on the B stage and performed just one song “Hold On.” NKOTB came back also for one song, the one everyone was waiting for “Step By Step,” and as always the audience sang the step parts. Salt-N-Pepa came back for “Push It.”
For the final part of the show NKOTB came out in Boston Celtics jerseys with their names on the back for another song fans waited all night for “Hangin’ Tough”mixed in with Queen's “We Will Rock You.” The last time around NKOTB brought out Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Salt-N-Pepa, and Naughty By Nature to perform “80’s Baby,” which they released as a single prior to the first Mixtape Tour. Once again NKOTB made a new song with the other acts on the tour Astley, Salt-N-Pepa, and En Vogue titled “Bring Back the Time,” which features each one of them singing their parts all onstage together. For the music video they recreated iconic 80’s videos by Devo, Robert Palmer, Journey, Twisted Sister, and more. The closing song was Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up. The show lasted 2.5 hours and the audience was on their feet singing to every song.
NKOTB’s MixTape tour ends July 23rd at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. NKOTB will then play three nights at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena with TLC for their first shows there in three decades. For the setlist and breakdown of the show see below.
My Favorite Girl
You Got It (The Right Stuff)
My Lovin’ (Never Gonna Get It)
Free Your Mind
It Would Take a Strong Strong Man
House Party / New Kids on the Block / Hold On / Full Service / Return of the Mack / Call It What You Want
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These) / Twisted- Eurythmics
Remix (I Like the)
None of Your Business
Let's Talk About Sex
Shake Your Thang
Whatta Man with En Vogue
Don’t Let Go
Please Don't Go Girl
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun / Poison / I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) / You Shook Me All Night Long / Livin' on A Prayer / California Love- Cindy Lauper, Bel Biv DeVoe, Whitney Houston version, Bon Jovi, Tupac.
Never Gonna Give You Up
Cry For Help
Shoop with Donnie Wahlberg
Baby, I Believe in You
Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)- The Delfonics
If You Go Away
I'll Be Loving You (Forever)
Step by Step
Hangin’ Tough/ We Will Rock You- Queen
Bring Back the Time
Never Gonna Give You Up- Rick Astley