New Kids on the Block/Nelly/TLC | 05.22.15

NKOTB 75They strutted and pranced around the stage, proving talent never really dies, it just goes on hiatus.



Scottrade Center, St. Louis

If you were alive in the late 80s and early 90s, you could not ignore New Kids on the Block. They were everywhere. Now known as NKOTB, the five-man act brought more than just nostalgia to the stage of the Scottrade Center.

The band has been actively touring since 2008 and recorded a new album, The Block, which released in August of that same year. Their first outing following that album’s debut featured themselves, as well as the Backstreet Boys. This time around, they have brought some very special guests, Nelly and TLC.

As the show opened, a young lady clad in a denim skirt graced the stage with a large sign, proclaiming this to be round one.

Round #1: Nelly

Looking fresh in all white, St. Louis’ own Nelly took the stage. While this writer is not familiar with most of Nelly’s material, I can gauge a crowd response, and this crowd loved themselves some Nelly! Of course, it got hot in there! The Grammy-winning artist gave us a very high-energy set, that’s for sure!

Round #2: TLC

TLC has not graced the stage in St. Louis for quite some time. Although rumor has it this will be the last tour for the band, they showed no signs of stopping. T-Boz and Chilli rocked and danced up a storm, along with six back-up dancers. Clad in gold and black jumpers, they held the audience through their entire set of hits—and every song was a hit. Taking us through songs like “Baby, Baby, Baby,” “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” and “Red Light Special,” the place was on its feet. The hit-strewn, 50-minute set evoked memories from days gone by, as only music can do. The girls vamped it up and had the crowd in the palm of their hands. They were very entertaining, and it would be a shame if they were to never tour again.

The band seemed to be in a fine mood, as a strange man with a purple mohawk and black glitter mask took the stage to introduce the dancers. Then, it was back to the hits with “What About Your Friends,” “Creep,” and the Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez-dedication: “Waterfalls,” going out to the deceased member of TLC. While she was of course missed, the performance was spot-on, even without her.

Round #3: The Main Event

The return of NKOTB is one most people thought would never happen. Yet, if marked by their performance at Scottrade Center, it would seem they had not really parted ways at all. The band knows its audience, which is primarily female. They strutted and pranced around the stage, proving talent never really dies, it just goes on hiatus.

Opening with “Bloc Party,” every fan in the arena was up, dancing and screaming! Then, the band took to the air on five hydraulic risers from center stage. Playing in the round is not something every act can pull off, but NKOTB took to it like a fish to water.

With songs like “The Right Stuff” and “Step By Step,” the band can still deliver a hit or two. Every track went over well with the audience and while their dancing was not as complex, it still drove the crowd mad with delight.

Overall, this was a really fun show. Jordan, Jonathan, Danny, Donnie, and Joey may no longer be New Kids on the Block, but NKOTB definitely have a fan base to be proud of. They really have nothing left to prove.

Not just for the sake of nostalgia, this tour is testament to the fact that, for those of us who are old enough to remember the band’s heyday, our music is still alive and still relevant, and our stars are still stars. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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