New Kids on the Block | 06.17.17

They may not be new anymore and they have certainly been around the block, but NKOTB still has the right stuff.

New Kids on the Block

Scottrade Center, St. Louis
featuring Boys II Men and Paula Abdul

Nostalgia comes in many forms, including classic cars, antique furniture, and fashion trends. But none has the power of music. Songs have the ability to transplant us to another time. This was the feeling in the air at the recent New Kids on the Block concert at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

The New Kids are in great company this time around. On their last visit in 2015, they brought St. Louis native Nelly and the reformed duo TLC. This time, they were joined by even stronger talent in the form of Boys II Men and ex-Laker girl, choreographer, and hitmaker Paula Abdul.

Up first were Boys II Men. The trio’s patented harmonies were tight and precise, and they seemed at ease on stage. Dressed in white, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wayne Morris performed their biggest hits, tracks such as “Motownphilly,” “On Bended Knee,” “In the Still of the Night,” and their mega-hit “End of the Road.” The band even paid tribute to Lenny Kravitz with a splendid version of “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” After 25 years in the music business, Boys II Men still possess the chops that made them famous, and the crowd still loves them.

With no intermission, suddenly Paula Abdul took the stage in a gold sequined frock, opening with “It’s Just the Way That You Love Me.” This is the first time in 26 years that Abdul has hit the stage, and she still has the moves that made her—and many others—famous. Accompanied by six dancers, she put on a phenomenal show. Playing tracks like “Forever Your Girl,” “Cold Hearted Snake,” and her biggest hit to date, “Opposites Attract,” Abdul was vocally impressive, on point and in tune. This was even more apparent when she returned to the stage clad in a white-sequined gown, and played “Rush Rush.” Her and her six dancers’ moves were impeccable, the show not at all betraying the extended break she took from the stage.

After a 15-minute intermission, the stars of the evening took over. NKOTB made their still-rabid fans scream as they broke into “One More Night.” Though the fans have gotten older, their propensity for this band has never wavered, and neither has the band’s talent. Although some members have had their own solo careers over the years, none have matched the popularity this act still enjoys. In fact, they are one of the few bands of their genre and era to still contain all original members: Joey McIntire, Danny Wood, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight, and brother Jonathan Knight.

NKOTB played worldwide hits like “You Got It (The Right Stuff),” “Step by Step,” and a fun cover of “California Love,” originally recorded by Tupac Shakur. The set list was jam-packed with danceable tunes and highlighted with the classic harmonies of NKOTB—even if the songs are delivered in different keys now. They made a medley of the encore, closing with their trademark hit “Hangin’ Tough” interspersed with bits of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

They may not be new anymore—the kids have grown into men—and they have certainly been around the block in their 30-plus years of performing. Yet even after all these years, NKOTB still have the right stuff. | Marc Farr

See NKOTB on the Total Package Tour; remaining tour dates are below.

06.29 | The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills MI

06.30 | Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland

07.01 | PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh

07.02 | Prudential Center, Newark NJ

07.05 | PPL Center, Allentown PA

07.06 | Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville CT

07.07 | Nassau Veteran’s Memoria Coliseum, Uniondale NY

07.08 | Fenway Park, Boston

07.09 | Times Union Center, Albany

07.11 | PNC Arena, Raleigh NC

07.12 | Spectrum Center, Charlotte NC

07.13 | Infinite Energy Center, Duluth GA

07.14 | Amalie Arena, Tampa

07.16 | Hard Rock Live, Hollywood FL

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