It’s been four years since New Kids played Fenway Park in their home state of Boston, MA. Following a week of shows starting with Guns N’ Roses, Billy Joel, and the Hella Mega Tour (Green Day/Weezer) NKOTB played Fenway Park on August 6th marking their first Boston show in two years since they played the Garden on their Mixtape Tour. NKOTB played their first show since the Mixtape Tour ended in Sunrise, FL (7.9.19) just two days earlier in Baltimore, MD. NKOTB opened up Fenway in a completely different way then they did four years prior. After showing an intro video featuring each member of the group, they hit the stage around 8:10 P.M. and continued for over 2.5 hours featuring all the hits. 2021 marked the 35th anniversary of their debut album. 30 years ago NKOTB became the first ever pop act/group to play the Super Bowl HalfTime Show. After a 14 year hiatus (1994 - 2008), NKOTB were as big as ever and in recent years, they put together massive tours with The Backstreet Boys (NKOTBSB), TLC and Nelly (The Main Event), and Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Naughty By Nature, and Salt-N-Pepa (Mixtape Tour). This was also NKOTB’s fourth Fenway show in the last 10 years.
Originally scheduled for 2020, The Fenway Park show was pushed to July, 2021 with the Covid-19 pandemic and ultimately took place August 6th. To start off the show NKOTB opened with “We Were Here,” which couldn't have been a more perfect song to start off this historic night between being their first hometown show since the pandemic and a show of that size. This also served as a tribute to DMX who passed April 9th whom they recorded the song with. By the end of the song there were fireworks, between 20 and 30 dancers including ones holding Boston team flags and confetti cannons shot out. In the first 10 songs nearly every song was a major hit old and new with “Summertime,” and “You Got It (The Right Stuff).” The third to last song of this set was “Block Party” which started on stage with the group all wearing Red Sox uniforms with their last names on the back then they made their way to the back of the field and stayed there through “Games” and Tonight,” which was the last song before bringing out their guests. Out came Boston Natives that make up ½ of New Direction, none other than Bell Biv Devoe performing three songs before handing it back to NKOTB and came back out again later in the show.
The second part of NKOTB’s set were earlier songs like Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time) and “This One’s For the Children” featuring Joey McIntyre’s son Griffin on piano. Joey stood with Griffin after and mentioned how he's a singer, actor, musician, and Netflix star but “would trade it all in to play center field for the Boston Red Sox” while presenting him a baseball glove. Joey followed with a performance of his signature NKOTB song “Please Don’t Go Girl.” The Berklee School of Music Choir joined in as well. Bell Biv DeVoe returned a second time but on the field for “When Will I See You Smile Again?”
For the third part of NKOTB’s performance, they did two medleys including a staggering sixteen songs including most of their debut album. The group came out sporting black sweaters that said Nynuk which Donnie Wahlberg explained the meaning of. It was the group’s original name but it was also in honor of his mother Alma who passed away 4 months ago and talked about how her and the other three moms would be there in the beginning at their shows “when there were only five people in the audience.” For “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” each member’s name came up on the screen one by one as they were featured on the song just like they were as kids. “Baby, I Believe In You,” was dedicated to the fans as photos showed up on the screen from various meet and greets over the years.
The next segment featured a DJ set from special guest D-Nice with NKOTB acting as emcees titled the Blockhead Edition of Club Quarantine. This part of the show included four separate mash-ups starting with Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and also included a tribute to Biz Markie who passed July 16th. The second part was Rock hits from AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Bon Jovi. Lastly the third part honored Boston artists starting with Australian group the Bee Gees "Massachusetts," which led to Boston greats J Geils Band, Donna Summer, and Aerosmith. During this part NKOTB were wearing Boston Bruin Jerseys which they kept on until the end of this section. The last and final part started with Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's, "Good Vibrations" and ended with a song that can be heard across Baseball stadiums around the country, Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," which was an audience sing-a-long. D-Nice came out front from behind the turntables to stand with NKOTB as they mentioned a major Boston song was missing from that set. Out came Bell Biv DeVoe to perform "Poison" as NKOTB turned the show back to them.
NKOTB came out one last time for a five song encore starting with "Cover Girl." Jordan Knight was featured on “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever).” Second to last was audience participation time on “Step By Step,” during the lyrics Step 1, Step 2….) and they also showed off their famous dance moves from the music video. Donnie stayed out to rev up the crowd for the final song while the backing track of Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” played. On the screen behind, you could see the NKOTB letters made up from the Boston sports team logos revolving around. The rest of the group came out wearing Boston Celtic Jerseys. After a few verses Donnie changed into his jersey. The song started with everyone waving their arms during the “oh oh oh” part like in the music video.
This historic night came to an end with a massive firework display, confetti, and Donnie leading the audience in singing “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” acapella. The group yelled “we love you Boston” before exiting the stage.
We Were Here
My Favorite Girl
You Got It (The Right Stuff)
Remix (I Like the)
Bell Biv DeVoe set
B.B.D. (I Thought It Was Me)?
11. RAININ’ FELLAS- (Todrick Hall cover)
12. Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)- (The Delfonics cover)
13. This One's for the Children (featuring Griffin McIntyre)
14. Please Don't Go Girl
Bell Biv DeVoe set
When Will I See You Smile Again
15. I Remember When / New Kids on the Block / Stop It Girl / Popsicle / I Wanna Be Loved by You / Hold On / What'cha Gonna Do (About It) / I Need You
16. Call It What You Want / Let's Try It Again / Stay With Me Baby / Baby, I Believe in You / You Got the Flavor / Still Sounds Good / Click, Click, Click / One Song
The Blockhead Edition of Club Quarantine by D-Nice with Bell Biv DeVoe
The Blockhead Edition of Club Quarantine
(Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) / I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (Whitney Houston)/ Just A Friend (Biz Markie)/ Your Love) (The Outfield)
(You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)/ Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard) / Livin' On a Prayer) (Bon Jovi)
(Massachusetts (Bee Gees) / Centerfold (J. Geils Band) / She Works Hard for the Money (Donna Summer)/ I Don't Want to Miss a Thing) (Aerosmith)
(Good Vibrations (Marky Mark)/ Sweet Caroline) (Neil Diamond)
Bell Biv DeVoe set
(with Bell Biv DeVoe)
15. Cover Girl
16. I'll Be Loving You (Forever)
17. Step by Step
18. Hangin' Tough